Getty Can't Dodge IP Claims Over Air Freshener Images

Law360, New York (September 28, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT) -- A New York federal judge on Wednesday largely refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Getty Images Inc. of improperly licensing digital media featuring trees that bear a substantial resemblance to trademarked pine tree-shaped air fresheners for cars.

U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby nixed Car-Freshner Corp. and Julius Samann Ltd.'s vicarious liability claim against Getty, but kept the rest of the air freshener makers' claims intact including for trademark infringement and unfair competition, rejecting Getty's contention that its use of the trademarked tree designs constitutes fair use.

The air freshener companies filed suit against Getty in November 2009, claiming that its...

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