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Court: Paris Hilton can pursue Hallmark lawsuit






U.S. socialite Paris Hilton is filmed by her personal photographer as she tours the Grand Hills hotel in Broumana, east of Beirut July 3, 2009. Picture taken July 3, 2009. REUTERS/ Sherine Raffoul
U.S. socialite Paris Hilton is filmed by her personal photographer as she tours the Grand Hills hotel in Broumana, east of Beirut July 3, 2009. Picture taken July 3, 2009. REUTERS/ Sherine Raffoul
</head> <body> <p>By Jonathan Stempel</p> <p>NEW YORK (Reuters) - The celebrity and heiress Paris Hilton may pursue her lawsuit against Hallmark Cards over its use of her picture and catchphrase "That's hot" on a greeting card, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday.</p> <p>Hilton had contended that Hallmark violated her privacy and right of publicity by ripping off a scene from her reality TV show "The Simple Life" on a birthday card captioned "Paris's First Day as a Waitress."</p> <p>A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Hallmark's argument that its depiction of the Hilton Hotels heiress was protected speech as a matter of law.</p> <p>It sent the case back to a lower court, which had turned aside Hilton's claim of trademark infringement but rejected other Hallmark defenses.</p> <p>Lincoln Bandlow, a lawyer at Lathrop & Gage LLP in Los Angeles representing Hallmark, said "the analysis of the First Amendment defense is incorrect. It will leave a lot of speakers subjected to meritless right of publicity claims."</p> <p>He said Hallmark will evaluate options including a possible appeal to the full 9th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court.</p> <p>Brent Blakely, a lawyer for Hilton, was not available for comment.</p> <p>The card showed Hilton's face superimposed on a cartoon of a waitress serving a plate of food to a restaurant customer.</p> <p>Hilton tells the customer, "Don't touch that, it's hot." The customer asks, "What's hot?" Hilton responds, "That's hot." The inside of the card reads "Have a smokin' hot birthday."</p> <p>The appeals court rejected Hallmark's argument that the card was sufficiently "transformative" as to deserve automatic protection because the setting was different and the phrase "that's hot" referred to the temperature of a plate of food.</p> <p>While noting differences from the TV show, including that the cartoon body was of a generic female and not Hilton, Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain said "the basic setting is the same: we see Paris Hilton, born to privilege, working as a waitress."</p> <p>He concluded that Hilton "has at least some probability of prevailing on the merits before a trier of fact."</p> <p>The private equity firm Blackstone Group LP took control of Hilton Hotels Corp in 2007. Hallmark is privately held and based in Kansas City, Missouri.</p> <p>The case is Hilton v. Hallmark Cards, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (Pasadena), No. 08-55443.</p> <p>(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Gary Hill)</p> </body> </html> </div><!-- end article-body --> </div><!-- end aticle-body-wrapper --> <aside> <ul class="social-share-btns clearfix"> <li><g:plusone size="medium" href="http://wsau.com/news/articles/2009/aug/31/court-paris-hilton-can-pursue-hallmark-lawsuit/"></g:plusone></li> <li><div id="fb-root"></div><script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#appId=112315878855956&xfbml=1"></script><fb:like href="http://wsau.com/news/articles/2009/aug/31/court-paris-hilton-can-pursue-hallmark-lawsuit/" action="recommend" send="true" layout="button_count" width="150" show_faces="false" font=""></fb:like></li> <li><a href="http://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-url="http://wsau.com/news/articles/2009/aug/31/court-paris-hilton-can-pursue-hallmark-lawsuit/" data-text="Court: Paris Hilton can pursue Hallmark lawsuit" data-count="horizontal">Tweet</a><script type="text/javascript" src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></li> </ul><!-- end social-share-btns --> </aside> </div><!-- end article-container --> <section class="clearfix text-ad-container"><div class="text-ad"></div><div class="text-ad"></div><div class="text-ad"></div></section> <div id='taboola-below-main-column'></div> <script type="text/javascript"> window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column', placement:'below-main-column'}); </script> <div id='taboola-text-2-columns'></div> <script type="text/javascript"> window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'text-links-5r', container:'taboola-text-2-columns', placement:'text-2-columns'}); </script> <script> window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); </script> <section class="comment-container"> <h1 class="h2 visuallyhidden">Comments</h1> <a href="/news/articles/2009/aug/31/court-paris-hilton-can-pursue-hallmark-lawsuit/#disqus_thread"></a> <div id="disqus_thread" class="section-widget"></div> <script type="text/javascript"> var disqus_shortname = 'wsau'; var disqus_title = 'Court: Paris Hilton can pursue Hallmark lawsuit'; var disqus_url = 'http://wsau.com/news/articles/2009/aug/31/court-paris-hilton-can-pursue-hallmark-lawsuit/'; (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = 'http://' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); </script> </section><!-- end comment-container --> </article> </div><!-- end of col-1 --> <div id="col-2"> <form class="section-search-form clearfix" method="get" action="/search/"> <fieldset class="clearfix"> <input class="section-search" type="text" rel="Search News" name="q" placeholder="Search News" /> <input class="section-search-submit" type="image" alt="Search" src="http://static.mwcradio.com/images/icons/section-search.gif" /> </fieldset> </form> <div class="ad-300x250"></div> <aside class="aside-module top-stories"> <h1>Top Stories</h1> <ul class="unstyled-list single-col-list"> <li><a href="/news/articles/2014/jul/28/hail-damage/" title="Full Article: Hail damage">Hail damage</a></li> <li><a href="/news/articles/2014/jul/28/woman-dies-after-being-hit-by-train/" title="Full Article: Woman dies after being hit by train">Woman dies after being hit by train</a></li> <li><a href="/news/articles/2014/jul/28/trail-begins-in-kidnapping-case/" title="Full Article: Trail begins in kidnapping case">Trail begins in kidnapping case</a></li> <li><a href="/news/articles/2014/jul/28/some-candidates-switch-parties-to-challenge-rep-duffy/" title="Full Article: Some candidates switch parties to challenge Rep. 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