Open Thread: TripAdvisor Points and Laughs

TripAdvisor is calling on organizers of a “straight pride” parade next month in Boston to stop using their logo without permission — and having some fun in the process.

Dear Mr. Hugo,

I am writing on behalf of TripAdvisor LLC concerning Super Fun Happy America’s unauthorized use of TripAdvisor’s logo, as displayed on your website at I’m Coming Out and saying this clearly: you are infringing upon TripAdvisor’s intellectual property rights. Further, your statement that you are “in negotiations” with TripAdvisor as a “potential sponsor” is completely false.

To be precise, your use of the TripAdvisor trademark and our Beautiful logo infringes TripAdvisor’s trademark and trade name rights. TripAdvisor’s trademarks are protected in many countries around the world and Over The Rainbow, including in the United States under Registration Nos. 2727627, 3171193, 4612678 and 4454774. We have become a well-known brand for our reviews of hotels, restaurants, experiences and even the occasional YMCA, but we weren’t Born This Way – we obtained that recognition through significant advertising and promotion since as early as 2000. As a result of the breadth of the services it provides and its widespread renown, TripAdvisor enjoys substantial rights in its mark and name.

Contrary to your claims, TripAdvisor is not “in negotiations” with your organization for sponsorship of its “Straight Pride Parade.” Similarly, we have not authorized you to use our name or logo in any way. You Need To Calm Down – you are not sponsored by, associated or affiliated with TripAdvisor in any way, and thus, your use of our marks could confuse the public as to an affiliation with TripAdvisor. These inaccurate statements, which I trust do not show your True Colors, infringe on TripAdvisor’s rights under the Lanham Act, and impinge upon our Freedom! to decide with what organizations we want to associate our brand. Have A Little Respect and remove those statements. TripAdvisor and I Will Survive without being associated with your event.

There is nothing Vogue or acceptable about making false claims about others merely to support your own cause. If I Could Turn Back Time, I would tell you not to use our name in the first place. But now that you have, TripAdvisor demands that you remove all uses of our name, mark and logo from your website (and anywhere else you might use it) within 24 hours and not use them again. In other words, Black Me Out with an “X” on the above webpage. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) disappointment that you thought this might be an acceptable way to do business.

TripAdvisor is willing to resolve this matter amicably, today, on the above terms. That said, if you Don’t Stop Me Now by taking the requisite actions, TripAdvisor reserves all rights to take whatever enforcement actions it deems appropriate, including – if necessary – taking legal action against Super Fun Happy America, its principals, affiliates, or those acting in concert with you. Finally, I likely am not Dancing On My Own here, as I suspect the above arguments apply to most or all of the companies listed on the above webpage.

Please know and Believe that we take this matter seriously and look forward to your prompt compliance.


Bradford Young
Vice President, Associate General Counsel

My favorite part of the linked story is that this idiot used logos from a bunch of companies, claiming he was in negotiations with them to sponsor the “straight parade” and (shocker) this is not true.

Open thread

15 replies
  1. 1

    Netflix’s response, while not as fun, was definitely also on point:

    You should know that we’re unafraid of bullies. Our legal department is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.

  2. 2
    mrmoshpotato says:

    TripAdvisor’s lawyers had funs of ton with that letter.

  3. 3
    Jay says:

    It’s being organized by a Boston resident named Mark Sahady, who spent the last year and a half being the sidekick of Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, doing the legwork for an organization called Resist Marxism that was founded in the fall of 2017.

    The organization was meant to be the east coast version of Patriot Prayer – a large umbrella organization without a codified membership that could act as a gathering point for disparate parts of the far-Right.

    And like Patriot Prayer, the group quickly attracted violent hate groups like the Proud Boys and the American Guard, which acted as the muscle for Resist Marxism’s rallies.

    Was there an immediate danger? No, not that we could tell. The event was still months away. Although by announcing their intentions right at the start of LGBTQIA Pride month, it was pretty obvious what the ploy was.

    Was there anything to be gained or lost from sharing the information immediately? Here’s the thing: if some far-right brawler group’s half-assed plan manages to gain any momentum, it can take on a life of its own and enjoy a manifestation much wilder than its creator could have imagined.

    Every time we mention a group or a person, we’re doing free advertising for them. So being good and smart antifascists, we decided to keep this information to ourselves for now.

    And right on cue, they delivered. The rebrand had worked, and now the new front group, called Super Happy Fun America, got its message broadcast internationally, were defended and promoted by Fox News, and got interviewed and talked about, all for free. As if “Straight Pride” were even a legitimate idea, and not the product of some neo-Nazis incels’ late-night scheming.

    From Ryan’s contextless tweet, Sahady’s original Facebook post went from a handful of engagements to over 3,000 reacts and 1.3k shares. When far-Right events are shared by members of the mainstream media, they are given a platform, and attract supporters. This is exactly why antifascists favor no-platforming fascist events, except to warn the community about the dangers they pose.

  4. 4

    Wow a lawyer with a sense of humor, can we get some of them here? //

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: You just don’t understand our jokes. Probably for the best. Yes, fertile octogenarian jokes are a thing.

  6. 6
    Jay says:

    Eric Garner is dead. His daughter became an activist on behalf of her father. She is dead now too. Ramsey Orta recorded the incident and is in solitary confinement. But the cop involved is good to go. And the mayor is running for president as if this isn’t on him too.— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) July 16, 2019

  7. 7

    @Omnes Omnibus: You know, second rule of comedy…if you have to explain the joke it wasn’t funny in the first place.

  8. 8
    Amir Khalid says:

    So, Super Fun Happy America* don’t know that if you’re still negotiating with a company to sponsor your event, you don’t have a sponsorship agreement yet, or the authority under such an agreement to use the company’s logo in your event advertising. Methinks Super Fun Happy America are going to keep right on not knowing that until the process servers come a-knocking.
    * This is the sort of organisation name a kindergartner would come up with, which probably explains much about SFHA.

  9. 9
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This is the sort of organisation name a kindergartner would come up with

    Possibly, but as a joke, and even then the kid’s classmates would relentlessly mock it for being so ridiculous.

  10. 10

    My favorite line was the “If I could turn back time” reference. Cher is beloved by many in the gay community. Look up the appearance on Will and Grace on YouTube. Funny, funny bit.

  11. 11
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: PIE FILTER FOR YOU!

  12. 12
    tarragon says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Now that’s funny!

  13. 13
    sherparick says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: That’s close. I need to clip some of this for style points to improve my legal writing. This is not the way they taught me in law school.

  14. 14
    Citizen_X says:

    @Amir Khalid: @mrmoshpotato: There is a kind of shaggy hippy/arty/psychedelic/shambolic space in Houston called Super Happy Fun Land, that hosts experimental music, performance art, and other crazy things. OBVIOUSLY (I mean, take one look at their website), they have nothing to do with the “Straight Pride” mindset.

  15. 15

    I looked in on SuperHappy’s blog—they’re whinging about a cease-and-desist letter from Netflix (“a heterophobic company steeped in hatred and bigotry”)—and the associated comment thread. To someone’s charge that “your organization is nothing more than a group of Nazis” a supporter indignantly responds with

    John Hugo the president of SHFA is definately not a Nazi he loves Jews in fact he was married to a Jewess.

    Well, maybe someone was just having his little joke, but if not, isn’t that what the kids call a “tell?”

Comments are closed.