The image of a burning teddy bear in a video game infringed the plaintiff’s “Snuggle Bear” mark, but the game maker’s continued use after an injunction was excusable because the harm to the plaintiff was marginal while enforcing the injunction might have been catastrophic for the defendant, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held Dec. 7 (Conopco Inc. v. 3DO Co., S.D.N.Y., No. 99CV10893, 12/7/99).

The 3DO Co. sells the video game “BattleTanx: Global Assault.” In its television commercials, it depicted a “Snuggle Bear”-like character. Conopco Inc., the owner of the “Snuggle Bear” mark, filed suit against 3DO for copyright and trademark infringement. It requested and was granted an injunction. The order prohibited further commercials and any use or reference to a bear that is confusingly similar to, or would dilute the distinctiveness of, the “Snuggle Bear” mark or character.

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