Cease-And-Desist Order for Cartoonist

A cease-and-desist order has been issued to a cartoonist over his drawing of a Denver landmark.

From Westword:

Denver cartoonist Karl Christian Krumpholz [link added] on Monday said he had received a cease-and-desist email from Etsy prompted by his attempts to sell an illustration of Casa Bonita on the online marketplace.

“Casa Bonita LLC reported that my illustration listing ‘infringed on their trademark,’ ” Krumpholz told The Denver Post [link added] after Westword first reported the story. “Because of that Etsy shut down the listing … it’s currently in my ‘inactive listings folder’ on Etsy.”

Westword continues with the problem:

In 2015, Lakewood declared Casa Bonita a landmark, one that was a frequent fixture on maps and drawings of metro Denver. None of those appearances were trademark violations; publicly viewable buildings dating back before December 1990 are not protected by copyright.

Logos are another matter. The Casa Bonita name is traditionally done in a special typeface name that was registered as a service mark in 1974 and is still active. But Krumpholz didn’t use the actual logo. He drew a cartoon version of the sign on the outside of the building.

4 thoughts on “Cease-And-Desist Order for Cartoonist

  1. Way back in the late 70s there was a trademark/cartoon use case centered around the electric industry “Reddi Kilowatt” character. The court ruled in favor of the cartoonist saying that restricting use of the character or logo would the the same as forbidding newspaper writers from using the name “Disney”, or “Mickey Mouse”, “Coca Cola”, etc., in a news story.

  2. I had a similar issue, and the online site simply pulled my work without discussion. Unfortunately, it’s easier for companies like Etsy to just pull the work rather than deal with these issues, even when the artist is in the right.

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