- A moron in a hurry
"A moron in a hurry" is a hypothetical person against whom a claimant's concern might be judged in an English law civil action for passing off or trademark infringement. The expression is used to reject a claim that two items could reasonably be confused by a passer-by (i.e. that even a moron in a hurry would notice the difference), on the grounds that the items are so different that the goodwill and brand of the claimant's item cannot genuinely be affected by the existence of the other.
It appears to have been used first by Mr Justice Foster in the 1978 English legal case of Morning Star Cooperative Society v Express Newspapers Limited  FSR 113. In this case, the publishers of the Morning Star, a British Communist party publication, sought an injunction to prevent Express Newspapers from launching their new tabloid, which was to be called the Daily Star. The judge was unsympathetic. He asked whether the plaintiffs could show:a misrepresentation express or implied that the newspaper to be published by the defendants is connected with the plaintiffs' business and that as a consequence damage is likely to result to the plaintiffs
and stated that:if one puts the two papers side by side I for myself would find that the two papers are so different in every way that only a moron in a hurry would be misled.
In the same year, it was quoted in the same context in the case of Newsweek Inc. v. British Broadcasting Corp.  R.P.C. 441 by Lord Denning.
The phrase was considered in Canada in C.M.S. Industries Ltd. v. UAP Inc., 2002 SKQB 303, where the court ruled that UAP had infringed the plaintiff's trademark. It has also been considered by other Canadian courts, which have approved of the "moron in a hurry" analysis.
The phrase was revived by lawyers for Apple Computer in that company's most recent legal dispute with The Beatles' record label Apple Corps, over the appearance of Apple Computer's apple logo at certain times when using Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store (see Apple Corps v. Apple Computer). The lawyers have publicly argued that iTunes, as a music distributor, cannot be confused with the record label Apple Corps. However, this dispute does not directly concern passing off, which requires an assessment of misrepresentation and damage. Instead, Apple Corps contends that Apple has breached the terms of a previous trademark settlement agreement. In 1991, Apple Computer agreed not to use its logo in connection with music content. Apple (which in 2007 dropped “Computer” from its corporate name and is now known as “Apple, Inc.“) now argues that iTunes does not offer "content" as it does not produce its own music.
- ^ Jeffrey Miller (2003) "Where There's Life, There's Lawsuits", ISBN 1-55022-501-4, pp. 125, 126
- ^ CanLII - 2002 SKQB 303 (CanLII)
- ^ Techdirt: Apple Lawyers Try The Ever Popular Morons In A Hurry Test
- ^ [dead link] "Form 8-K SEC Filing" (pdf). January 10, 2007. http://ccbn.10kwizard.com/xml/download.php?format=PDF&ipage=4589126[dead link]. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Beck v. Eiland-Hall — WIPO headquarters in Geneva Court World Intellectual Property Organization Full case name Mercury Radio Arts, Inc. and Glenn Beck v. Isaac Eiland Hall … Wikipedia
Passing off — For other uses of this and related terms please refer to the pass disambiguation page. Passing off is a common law tort which can be used to enforce unregistered trademark rights. The tort of passing off protects the goodwill of a trader from a… … Wikipedia
Confusing similarity — In trademark law, confusing similarity is a test used during the examination process to determine whether a trademark conflicts with another, earlier mark, and also in trademark infringement proceedings to determine whether the use of a mark… … Wikipedia
Fox v. Franken — Fox News Network, LLC, v. Penguin Group (USA), Inc., and Alan S. Franken was a civil lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on August 7, 2003. Fox News Channel, the plaintiff, sought to enjoin… … Wikipedia
Apple Corps v. Apple Computer — Between 1978 and 2006 there was a number of legal disputes between Apple Corps (owned by The Beatles) and the computer manufacturer Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) over competing trademark rights. In the latest dispute, the English High Court… … Wikipedia
Marc Randazza — Marc J. Randazza Born Marc John Randazza November 26, 1969 (1969 11 26) (age 41) Gloucester, Massachusetts National … Wikipedia
English-language vowel changes before historic r — In the phonological history of the English language, vowels followed (or formerly followed) by the phoneme /r/ have undergone a number of phonological changes. In recent centuries, most or all of these changes have involved merging of vowel… … Wikipedia
Moors murders — Ian Brady and Myra Hindley Brady (left) and Hindley, October 1965 Background information Birth name Ian Duncan Stewart Myra Hindley Also known as … Wikipedia
List of albums containing a hidden track — This list contains the names of albums that contain a hidden track and also information on how to find them. Please note that not all printings of an album contain the same track arrangements, so your copy of album X may or may not have the… … Wikipedia
List of Cars characters — This is a list of characters from the Pixar franchise Cars consisting of the 2006 film Cars and the 2011 film Cars 2. Contents 1 Rust eze Medicated Bumper Ointment team 1.1 … Wikipedia