No, seriously. BeeCeuticals owner and Howard Stern cousin Richie Gerber* is suing Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Animation for stealing BeeCeuticals slogan "Give Bees a Chance" for their Bee Movie marketing material.
Reminiscent of (though slightly more clever than) the "Love Blows" controversy, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Dreamworks/Paramount came up with the slogan without realizing someone was already using it. Except that Gerber approached the companies ahead of time about joint marketing and they blew him off and used his slogan anyway. Oops.
"My client went to the companies to explore joint marketing. Ideas were passed back and forth, and they eventually used the trademark without asking,” Elliot Zimmerman, a lawyer for Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based BeeCeuticals, said in an telephone interview. "That’s something they would have normally paid for." [Bloomberg]
Wow, so they didn’t want to pay for "Give Bees a Chance", but couldn’t think up anything better so they used it anyway? I guess I don’t blame them, bee puns are hard. I mean, hard for people who only read books with pictures in them, at least.
*Who writes, "Lance, Love the blog and think you are funny as hell." No, seriously.