LOS ANGELES (CN) – Penthouse Media Group violates Roxbury Entertainment’s “Route 66” trademark to sell pornography, Roxbury claims in Federal Court. Roxbury says it trademarked the famous highway for its “highly rated, classic television program” in the 1960s, and that Penthouse is using it to sell “grossly inferior products, poorly produced pornography with virtually no storyline, dialogue or acting.”
Roxbury says it “used the Route 66 trademark to identify, market and advertise their television episodes featuring two young and adventurous travelers, driving their convertible sports car (Corvette) from American town to town, in search of existential meaning and their place in American life and culture. The ‘Route 66’ program was unique in American entertainment history, involving itinerant characters in an anthology of stories, each one filmed on location and representative of America’s people, history and culture, with the Heartland of America as its backdrop.”
Roxbury claims that in correspondence the preceded this lawsuit, Penthouse claimed it made “fair use” of Route 66.
“In fact, nothing could be further from the truth,” Roxbury says. “The content of Defendants’ pornographic film and DVDs contains no ‘story’ or ‘road-related adventure transpiring on and around Route 66.’ Rather, the film is pure pornography with no more than a few seconds of dialogue, making no reference to Route 66 or adventure on the open road, preceding the oral and anal sex between and among various men and women, the film’s only story, a ‘story’ which all takes place at the apparently fictitious ‘Pink Motel’ and not on the open road or anywhere near Route 66.
“In Defendants’ pornographic film and DVDs, no mention is made of the Highway ‘Route 66’ by any of the ‘actors,’ nor is there any footage of the actual ‘Mother Road’ or the American towns, people and culture which make up this iconic highway. Defendants’ pornographic film and DVDs could much more accurately be called ‘Sex in and Around the Pink Motel,’ since it has absolutely nothing to do with ‘Route 66′ except for Defendants’ blatant exploitation of Roxbury’s Route 66 trademark, an exploitation intended to confuse the consuming public as to the affiliation, source and origin of Defendants’ product.”
(In the interest of full disclosure, your editor at Courthouse News states that the reason we have reported this claim in such detail is to raise the question whether “grossly inferior products, poorly produced pornography with virtually no storyline, dialogue or acting” could not, arguably, be defended as “representative of America’s people, history and culture” today. The lawsuit, however, does not address that issue.)
Roxbury demands disgorgement of unjust profits, punitive damages, and destruction of the offending products. It is represented by Kirk Hallam of Santa Monica.