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Parody Website Targeting Former Jones Day Partner Kevyn Orr Threatened with Litigation

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A parody website has been threatened with litigation by Jones Day, the largest law firm in the United States, because the website is using the firm’s corporate logo, according to ars technica.

Partner Robert Ducatman penned a letter to the anonymous blogger, saying “I write on behalf of Jones Day, a law firm with over 2500 lawyers in offices on five continents, regarding your unauthorized use of Jones Day’s service mark on the website www.kevynorr.com …”

The blogger received support last week from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said that the firm’s actions are one of several by companies that improperly demand critics stop using their logos.

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A staff attorney from Electronic Frontier Foundation, Daniel Nazer, said the following in an interview with ars technica: “The wise thing for them to do is simply accept somebody said something mean about them on the Internet and move on.”

Ducatman has not commented about the situation, but his letter said, “Your conduct will be closely monitored.”

The site is aimed at former Jones Day partner Kevyn Orr, who is the emergency financial manager for the city of Detroit now.

Nazer penned a letter to Jones Day in response, saying  the following:

“The website fiercely criticizes Kevyn Orr, Jones Day, and other individuals and corporations that our client believes have acted against Detroit’s best interests,” Nazer wrote. “The placement of the Jones Day mark—under the tag line: ‘Detroit’s Economic Coup D’etat has been brought to you by’—is an obvious parody of corporate sponsorship. It is well-settled that the First Amendment fully protects the use of trademarked terms and logos in non-commercial websites that criticize and comment upon corporations and products.”

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