It was illegal to caricature the Carling Black Label trademark for commercial gain, the Supreme Court of Appeal found on Thursday.
The court upheld an interdict against Laugh It Off Promotions, obtained by South African Breweries (SAB) in the Cape High Court
Laugh It Off had been selling T-shirts emblazoned with the trademark but substituting the words "Black Labour, White Guilt" for "Black Label, Carling".
This was detrimental to the value of the trademark, the court held.
This was detrimental to the value of the trademark
The court pointed out that <b>Laugh It Off was free to caricature the trademark non-commercially.</b> It was also free to proclaim its message "Black Labour: White Guilt" without using the trademark.
However, the company was <b>not entitled to gain financially out of a detrimental exploitation of the trademark.</b>
During the hearing Laugh It Off's counsel said there was no evidence that the T-shirt had caused detriment to the Black Label mark.
Evidence from the Freedom of Expression Institute had stated that "the essence of parody was that you borrow from someone else".
However, SAB's lawyers said parody was intended to "appear comical or ridiculous" and this would impact on the reputation of the brand. - Sapa
So, according to this court ruling, providing you are not gaining financially from using/dertrimenting a label, its okay? So, Hellkom, is pretty much in the green?