Word to the wise: Don't antagonize the man in the black turtleneck.
Apple, Inc. has issued a cease and desist letter to M.I.C. Gadget, maker of the Steve Jobs action figure. The figure featured jobs in his trademark (not literally) black turtleneck and jeans standing on an Apple logo platform. It is listed for $79.90.
Apple cited California Civil Code Section 3344 which prohibits the use of any person's name, photograph or likeness in a product without that person's prior consent, which Chris Chang reported on his blog.
"Apple has informed us that this phenomenal SJ action figure, has not consented to the use of Apple's copyrights and trademarks, therefore they request us immediately to cease the marketing and sale of this figure," Chris Chang from M.I.C Gadget wrote in a blog post, PC World reports.
So would you like to get your hands on M.I.C. Gadget's Steve Jobs figure? You're going to have to turn to the black market. (Get it? Black--like his turtleneck. Trust me, it's hilarious.) That's because after the company sold through its stock of 300 units, it became aware of the lawsuit and stopped making any new figures. M.I.C. Gadget discontinued making the Steve Jobs figures and offered an apology to Steve Jobs and Apple.
"So, all Apple fanboys, you are not going to get this phenomenal figure anymore. M.I.C gadget hereby apologizes to Steve Jobs, Apple Inc, and their law firm for any inconvenience caused," Chris Chang from M.I.C Gadget wrote.
Whether a court would have agreed with Apple is now a moot point. Businesses and people do receive some protection over their names, likenesses, logos and so forth. However, that protection is not unlimited -- there are several loopholes, such as parody, an argument M.I.C Gadget could have potentially made.
Enforcing Trademark Rights (FindLaw)