Viacom Beats Gibson's IP Suit Over SpongeBob Ukulele

Law360, New York (March 8, 2013, 9:59 PM EST) -- A California judge on Friday dismissed Gibson Guitar Corp.'s trademark infringement suit alleging Viacom International Inc. lifted its design on a ukulele featuring cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, ruling Gibson hadn't sufficiently distinguished between the roles of Viacom and its licensee.

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson gave Gibson a chance to amend its allegations of misuse of the trademarked “Flying V” electric guitar and peg head design “to articulate which acts were performed by which defendant.” The licensee, U.K. instrument distributor John Hornby Skewes & Co....
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