Federal Judge Rules That Political Activists Can Use Company Logos

Political activists who use company trademarks to protest business practices often face lawsuits from offended organizations, but a ruling by a federal judge in Utah may stifle such suits because they violate First Amendment rights.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports the judge threw such a suit out because it suppressed the defendant’s free speech. In the suit, a company that has questioned the science behind climate change theories sued activists who put out a fake press release from the company vowing to halt funding companies that deny global warming. The press release went online at a fake address meant to look like that of the company it was mocking.

In throwing the lawsuit out, the judge wrote “Competition in the marketplace of ideas” is precisely what the First Amendment is designed to protect.”

Utah Court Strikes Blow for Free Speech, Dismisses Trademark and CFAA Claims Against Political Activists [Electronic Frontier Foundation via Slashdot]