Out: Manhattan Office. In: Chicken

Hamilton Nolan · 07/15/09 11:29AM

The Way We Live Now: In Manhattan! You can rent office space there now, cheap! Well, not you. "You" are a part-time chicken farmer and failed celebrity chef. But, you know, other people can rent in Manhattan!

"Obey" Trademark Law

Hamilton Nolan · 03/08/09 09:00AM

Shepard Fairey is America's darling, ever since that Obama 'HOPE' poster. The AP looked like jerks when they complained about him stealing their photo. But! Fairey will sue your ass for stealing his brand, quick.

People Editor Calls Times Allegations 'Totally Bogus'

Hamilton Nolan · 11/21/08 04:12PM

High profile press fight! People magazine editor Larry Hackett just sent out an internal memo blasting the page one New York Times story today about People's alleged shady dealings with Angelina Jolie. Specifically, the Times cited two anonymous sources "with knowledge of the bidding" for the photos of Jolie and Brad Pitt's most recent newborns—which cost People $14 million—who said that there was an formal agreement that "obliged" the magazine to offer only positive coverage. Of course, as Hackett acknowledges, their coverage was positive; but he strongly asserts that the magazine would never "purposely slant coverage as condition for acquiring pictures." And indeed, the Times may have oversold that angle in their story. There's certainly a difference between what Jolie asks for, and what a magazine would explicitly "promise" to do. Read his full memo below:

You Can't Trademark Sexy

Hamilton Nolan · 05/27/08 09:06AM

I don't claim to be an expert on hair, or sexiness, but I'd be willing to wager that far fewer people have heard of "Sexy Hair Concepts LLC" than have heard of Victoria's Secret. Nevertheless, Sexy Hair Concepts somehow managed to persuade a Trademark Board that "consumers were likely to confuse the lingerie giant's 'So Sexy' trademark for haircare items with Sexy Hair Concepts' various trademarks using the word 'sexy' for its coiffure line." Consumers will be wandering around in a sheer sexiness daze! Victoria's Secret's response to the ruling: you trademark people must be crazy:

Jesus Will Carry You To A Good Lawyer

Hamilton Nolan · 05/19/08 10:24AM

You've surely seen a copy of it on the walls of your local Sunday school, A.A. meeting, or weed-filled hipster apartment, ironically: Footprints in the Sand, the mawkish little poem/ parable about Jesus carrying you when you couldn't carry yourself. The work has become a gold mine of merchandising opportunities, which is what everyone, including Jesus, really cares about (sandals aren't free). So naturally three different people have been squabbling for years over who wrote it. Now, the son of one proclaimed author is taking the other claimants to court for copyright infringement. Sigh. It would really be tidier if Jesus could just settle this himself. After the jump, the three slightly different versions of the poem that claim to be the original. One thing we can all agree on is that god needs to pick more creative messengers:

Shocker Shocker!

Hamilton Nolan · 04/15/08 02:58PM

We don't know what's more indicative of a total lack of taste: the fact that Rock Star Games is passing out a big foam hand in the shape of "The Shocker" to promote their new Grand Theft Auto release, or that this would cause College Humor co-founder Ricky Van Veen to publicly assert his very own personal patent on the big foam Shocker hand. Or, the lowbrow Julia Allison-related joke that we could (but won't) make to tie these disparate cultural phenomena together. [Ricky Van Veen]