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Ben & Jerry's Porn Lawsuit Settlement: Here's the Scoop

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By Aditi Mukherji, JD on July 31, 2013 1:16 PM

The Ben and Jerry's porn lawsuit has settled out of court, so don't expect a scoop of eye candy anytime soon.

Caballero Video, a Southern California porn studio, was sued by the ice cream giant after the studio named its "nutty" naughty porn parodies after Ben & Jerry's famously punny ice cream flavors. One example: "Boston Cream Thighs."

Here's the scoop on the settlement:

The Settlement

The days of Caballero's racy "Ben & Cherry's" series have melted. As part of the Ben & Jerry's settlement, the porn company won't release the DVDs or other X-rated products.

Caballero has agreed to stop marketing "Chocolate Fudge Babes," ''Peanut Butter D-Cup" and other films spoofing the names of the family-friendly Vermont ice cream maker's products, reports Reuters.

The agreement also covers labels, packaging and advertising that mimicked Ben & Jerry's own clouds-and-cows scene-scape. The settlement also spells the end of the slogan "Porno's Finest," which is a play on the classic Ben & Jerry's slogan "Vermont's Finest."

The End?

Since the case settled and didn't involve a full-blown trial, it probably won't have strong implications for future porn parody lawsuits.

That Caballero Video agreed to stop selling the porn products could be telling for companies, however. It may incentivize trademark holders to pursue lawsuits and enforce their rights.

But pornographers who are less cooperative than Caballero may opt for a trial in an attempt to defend their parodies as fair use.

The key to whether an act is infringement is whether the product creates a likelihood of confusion for customers. Copying that is clearly not related to the owner's brand is more likely to be a lawful parody than unprotected infringement.

It's pretty safe to assume this isn't the end for money shots that parody mainstream and family-oriented products.

But much to Ben & Jerry's relief, we'll be only screaming for ice cream, and not Ben & Cherry's "cream thighs."

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