I was unaware that one could trademark a dog, but apparently you can, though it may not hold up in court. Rin Tin Tin Inc., a German Shepherd breeding company named after the dog an American soldier during World War I in France, filed a lawsuit last year against Nu Image and First Look Studios alleging that the use of their breed's name in the kid film Finding Rin Tin Tin: the Adventure Continues was, well, a trademark infringement.

Unfortunately for them, a judge has finally ruled on the matter, coming to the rather obvious conclusion that "This descriptive use of the name is fair because it tells the consumer what the film is about -- the story of the historical dog Rin Tin Tin -- and because it is actually about the historical dog Rin Tin Tin." What I find funny about all of this is not only the fact that an entity who takes their name from a widely-known, long-dead dog actor would sue a film for doing the exact same thing, but that their suit called for retainership of all profits from the film and complete destruction of every DVD of it in existence.

Really? It's not as though Rin Tin Tin Inc. invented German Shepherds or discovered the original dog that would go on to be a film, TV, and radio star (yes, a dog used to have several radio shows). All they thought to do was capitalize on its popularity by making a brand out of the dog's genealogy, which at this point must be severely diluted. I hate to see our legal system put to such frivolous use, but I'm glad to see a judge saw fit to dismiss the suit: I'd hate to live in a world without a single DVD of Finding Rin Tin Tin!
categories Features, Cinematical