[UPDATED:] Went to a Prop 8 Battle and a Logo Battle Broke Out

UPDATE: The Courage Campaign just declared victory in its skirmish with the pro-Prop 8 ProtectMarriage.com over the use of the logo the Courage Campaign uses for its online Prop 8 Trial Tracker. Protect Marriage argued the parody of its Yes on 8 logo was an infringement on their trademark, but Judge Lawrence Karlton this afternoon rejected Protect Marriage's claims and request for a restraining order. "From blocking cameras in the courtroom to attempting to shut down our free speech, Prop 8 backers are continuing their pattern of keeping the truth about this trial from the American public," states a Courage Campaign email to supporters. "And we won't let them get away with it, no matter what they might throw at us."

The latest am-to/are-not spat between warring sides of the battle over California's same-sex marriage-denying Prop 8 should be broadcast live on the Logo Network.

That's because it's over amazingly similar logos used by the anti-8 Courage Campaign and pro-8 ProtectMarriage.com.

The Courage Campaign Institute received a complaint and temporary restraining order Tuesday from ProtectMarriage.com lawyers demanding that the campaign stop using its current online Prop 8 Trial Tracker logo.

According to the complaint, "the infringement by Defendants is willful and deliberate, designed specifically to trade upon the goodwill associated with the ProtectMarriage Trademark." The "goodwill" of the ProtectMarriage Trademark is of "great value," and continued use by the Courage Campaign will cause ProtectMarriage to suffer irreparable harm," state the court documents.

"Defendants' use of the ProtectMarriage Trademark constitutes a false designation of
origin, which is likely to deceive and has deceived customers and prospective customers into believing that Defendants' website and services they render thereupon are that of Plaintiff's--or, at the very least, are authorized by Plaintiff--and are therefore likely to divert and have diverted customers away from Plaintiff," reads the complaint.

The Courage Campaign's response: pound sand, ProtectMarriage.

"While our client does appreciate the irony of the suggestion in your letter that a logo of a family made up of a man, a woman, and two children is 'substantially indistinguishable' from a logo of a family made up of two women and two children, your assertion is incorrect," Courage Campaign Institute legal counsel Nathan Sabri asserted in a written response to ProtectMarriage.

Sabri added that the core difference between the groups behind the logos will not be lost on the public, which would expect the "sassy way" the Courage Campaign is presenting its trial tacker button.

(The letter and original ProtectMarriage cease-and-desist order are here. The opposite statement the Courage Campaign filed in court is here.)

"The Courage Campaign Institute will continue to focus our energy on this historic trial and the rights and protections at stake for loving, committed same-sex couples," responded Rick Jacobs, chairman of the 700,000-member Courage Campaign Institute. "ProtectMarriage.com can continue to expend time, energy and resources on a logo. Frankly, I think that says a lot about our respective priorities."

Courage Campaign's Prop 8 Trial Tracker web site has garnered more than 700,000 views and 5,000 comments since it launched on January 11 and has become a leading source of real-time updates on the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, according to the campaign.


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