Vanna White Vs Samsung Electronics America Inc Case Study

718 Words 3 Pages
Case: Vanna WHITE (Plaintiff) v. SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC., a New York corporation, and David Deutsch Associates, Inc., a New York corporation (Defendants)
Citation: 971 F.2d 1395 (Case Brief Document)
Procedural History (what happened in the case):
Samsung Electronics America Inc. and David Deutsch Associates Inc., Defendants, were sued by Vanna White, Plaintiff, because Defendants used a robot likeness of Plaintiff in a series of advertisements without Plaintiff’s consent or monetary compensation. Plaintiff claimed common law rights of publicity and the Lanham Act. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. Plaintiff appealed.
Defendants produced an advertisement campaign around the likeness of a popular TV show, “Wheel of Fortune.” In this case, Plaintiff
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3. Did the defendants violate the Lanham Act under the “likelihood of confusion” among the public by running the robot ad?
• Strength of the Plaintiff’s Mark: How well known is the individual among the public? Can the endorsement of a product lead to a probable cause of confusion? In this case, as the hostess of one of the most popular TV show, Plaintiff’s celebrity marker was strong.
• Relatedness of the Goods: Is there a relationship between the advertised product and Plaintiff? In this case, the ad informed the viewers that the Samsung’s VCR will be taping the “longest running show” well into the future, which profits off her services and skills on the TV show.
• Similarity of the Marks: This issue did not apply because the object-in-question was clearly a robot.
• Evidence of Actual Confusion: This issue did not apply because Plaintiff could not prove actual confusion. Again, no viewers will confuse a robot for White.
• Marketing Channel Used: Magazines were used to market the similarity between White’s stance and the robot’s stance. This method of advertisement satisfied this

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