Listen, I’m no attorney. I don’t have a J.D. and I haven’t passed the bar. But, I have played entirely too much Rock Band in my life — enough to recognize four distinct logos.
That’s why, not-attorney as I may be, it doesn’t seem right that the UCLA School of Law (an establishment full of attorneys and prospective attorneys) is using Harmonix’s trademarks to promote its event. Harmonix called UCLA out on it in the tweet embedded below, but there’s a winky face at the end so you know it’s not really serious. God bless the winky face.
If you will allow me to wear my lawyer hat for a minute (it’s a top hat), maybe this isn’t trademark infringement because UCLA’s use isn’t likely to cause confusion among consumers. They’re pretty unconnected entities. But, Harmonix could also argue that it dilutes its trademark, which is, in attorney-speak, no bueno. That’s Judge Makedonski’s official ruling: No bueno.
Dear @UCLA_Law, hoping to get some quick legal advice about someone using our trademarked icons in their ad. 😉 pic.twitter.com/KSEObbyQvF
— Rock Band (@RockBand) February 26, 2016