Who Owns Marilyn Monroe’s Image
Court have held that Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act entitles celebrities to sue for trademark infringement when others use their persona, without permission, to suggest a false endorsement or affiliation with goods or services. This may seem quite similar to the right of publicity, but there is a salient difference. In order to prevail under the Lanham Act, a celebrity has to prove that the consuming public is likely to be confused and mistakenly believe there is an endorsement or affiliation where none exists. Under the right of publicity, the celebrity must show that the use is unauthorized, but whether there is consumer confusion is irrelevant to the outcome.