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King Estate Considering Suit Over Unlicensed Obama Items

Publication Date: 
November 15, 2008
The New York Times
Robbie Brown

Professor Paul Goldstein is quoted in The New York Times in an article about a possible lawsuit over intellectual property rigths of Dr. Martin Luther King's merchandise being sold along with President-elect Barack Obama's items:

Since Barack Obama’s election last week as the nation’s first black president, street vendors and online stores have been hawking T-shirts, buttons and posters juxtaposing images of him with those of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as twin pillars of racial progress.

Mr. Obama will not be profiting from those sales, but Dr. King’s family is considering whether it can.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr., a nephew of Dr. King and president of the King Center in Atlanta, said the family was considering several options, including lawsuits against sellers of unauthorized merchandise linking Mr. Obama and Dr. King under slogans like “The Dream Is Reality.”


Stopping every vendor will be nearly impossible, said Paul Goldstein, a professor at Stanford Law School. “These things pop up like mushrooms,” he said.