Friday, November 16, 2007
You can't always see the gritted teeth behind the smiley
This is the kind of lawsuit that I think will give lawyers and litigation a bad name among the public. (HT: Pittsblog for writing about the suit and some of its anticipated problems.) The notion that a company can claim an exclusive right to draw a facial expression that is at least as old as the human race on a cookie seems absurd. Although lawyers can picture how the case might go either way, I think the public is going to see through it all to recognize the fierce greed that motivates a lawsuit like this.
If you give someone a smile you lose nothing, and can gain so much. If you sue to defend a claimed exclusive right to draw smiles, there is nothing to gain but perhaps a lot of money. I am likely to remember the obvious greed behind the smiley the next time I dine at an Eat'nPark and see the display of cookies at the counter as I leave.
Those aren't friendly smiles on the cookies. They are just the distracting smiles of someone who is eyeing your wallet.