It’s looking like you will be able to get the creepy Steve Jobs action figure. At least it should be legal for you to do so.
The website PaidContent.org says Apple’s lawyers may be bluffing with their cease and desist letter against “In Icons,” the Hong-Kong company that plans to start selling the far too realistic, 12", $99 Steve Jobs action figure next month.
Quoting the piece, “While people can indeed own rights to their likeness, those rights usually apply only to living people. Unlike other forms of intellectual property like patents or copyrights, image rights do not survive beyond the grave in most places.
“Under American law,” the piece continues, “so-called ‘personality rights’ exist only at the state level—there is no federal law. And only about a dozen states recognize image rights after death.”
By Paid Content’s reckoning, the creepy-as-all-get-out action figure will not be available legally in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, or Washington. So if you live in one of those states, maybe ask a relative to pick one up for you. Or ask them for one next Christmas.
On second thought, don’t. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it but... these things are kind of creepy.
Perhaps the biggest bombshell though, Paid Content says Apple “may not even be able to stop others from using the name Steve Jobs as, surprisingly, the term does not appear on the company’s long list of registered trademarks.”
Boys and girls, we’re going to a dark place now. Not so dark, but... shadowed let’s say. Around the time the Spike Lee movie “Malcom X” came out (nearly 20 years ago) stuff with “X” started popping up all over the place. One day I was in a neighborhood market in Boston and I saw this big, cardboard holder of air fresheners - black with grey “Xs” on them - with the advertising line at the top of the board, “Eradicate Odors by Any Means Necessary.”
We could make a mint putting Steve Jobs name on stuff! Come to think of it, we could make MINTS! Steve Jobs Air Fresheners! Steve Jobs Mouthwash! Steve Jobs Deodorant! And all of it Insanely Great!
Steve Jobs Insanely Great Flea Collar!
Insanely Great Tooth Brush!
Insanely Great Coffee Filter!
And the best best part is... "It just works!" All of it.
The Steve Jobs Insanely Great Pack-of-Six Clothes Hangers!
"It Just Works!"
Coming soon to a 99-cent store near you.