Blogger Warned to Delete Avis logo

A blogger who reported on a court ruling has been ordered by Avis to remove an image of its logo from his blog posting to avoid charges of trademark abuse The Register reports.

Eric Turkewitz is a lawyer who writes a personal injury blog. In a recent post, he discussed a ruling on the constitutionality of car rental firm immunity from some kinds of negligence suits. Turkewitz illustrated the story with pictures of the logos of both Hertz and Avis, but was told by Avis' lawyers to take the picture down.

A comment on the blog from Fred Grumman, associate general counsel at Avis, said: "We have the greatest respect for your right to express your opinions on your blog, but that does not include the right to use Avis' trademark as you have done in this particular piece. Understandably, trademark law is not within your area of expertise. Therefore, we trust that this was done out of ignorance and not based on an intent to misuse our mark to the benefit of your personal injury practice. We ask that you remove it immediately and refrain from any similar use in the future."

Turkewitz said he is not convinced he has actually committed a trademark violation.

Trademark expert Lee Curtis of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, said the use was unlikely to be trademark infringement, because Turkewitz was not using the brand itself in the course of trade.

Curtis said it was possible that the use might represent infringement of the copyright in the image itself.

The logo is currently still in place on both the original story and the post about the controversy over its use.

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