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Business News (more headlines) 05-19-2004

Tshirthell.com Settles 15 Million Dollar Lawsuit With The Osbournes

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Tshirthell.com reached an out of court settlement with Ozzy Osbourne and family. The copyright infringement suit concerned a t-shirt with the phrase, "F--- my family, I'm moving in with the Osbournes". Tshirthell.com had initially sought 15 million dollars in damages.

Tshirthell.com began selling the shirt in March of 2002. They claim that shortly thereafter, $500 worth of the shirts were purchased by Osbourne's record label. Soon after, Osbourne and his wife decided to manufacturer t-shirts which were virtually identical to tshirthell.com's original shirt with the similar phrase, "&@# my family! I'm moving in with...The Osbourne Family", as well as an uncensored version. The suit alleged that the defendants, by manufacturing, distributing, and merchandising the shirts were "engaging in unfair competition and creating a likeness confusion," and causing "irreparable damages" to Tshirthell.com.

Tshirthell.com is best known for topical humor t-shirts that display their distinct brand of extreme social satire, including shirts such as, "I Only Support Gay Marriage If Both Chicks Are Hot" and one depicting a smirking George W. Bush that reads "I Bet you'll Vote This Time, Hippy".

Aaron Schwarz, owner and president of Tshirthell.com said, "I'm very pleased with the outcome. I hope it will serve as a reminder that T-Shirt Hell will vigorously and aggressively protect our intellectual property. I hope this will discourage future pirates." Schwarz was quick to add, "When I say future pirates, I mean other t-shirt manufacturers who would attempt to use our slogans and designs without permission. I am not referring to men with wooden legs and eye patches, I have no problem with them." Under the terms of the agreement, details of the settlement could not be disclosed.

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