Development from previous post about Frolic Mills’ trademark infringement with Miss [SL] Universe.

I didn’t realize that writing a blog post about a current event in Second Life would get me any negative attention. Nor, did I realize that Freedom of Speech is a punishable right.

As mentioned in my previous post, Linden Labs is cracking down on the use of Miss Universe and Miss SL Universe throughout Second Life, due to the fact that evidently, Donald Trump isn’t too happy about his trademark being infringed upon by Frolic Mills of Best of SL Boulevard and the pageant. As a described also in the last blog post, according to law, Frolic Mills has violated the law by committing trademark infringement and potentially trademark dilution when attempting to take the trademarked Miss [SL] Universe as his own. Why else would Linden Labs be taking action, if he weren’t in violation? Answer: They wouldn’t.

I have been a member of the Best of SL Magazine Readers group for a time now, basically using it to gauge trends and see what is being sold where and get a feel for what people are interested in. I rarely spoke in the group, aside of asking which stores for ladies have gift cards/certificates and recommending a pair of sneakers once, I think. I posted in my blog about it yesterday and today, guess what happened? I was ejected without explanation from the group, which is run by Frolic Mills. I messaged him, inquiring as to why I was ejected from the group without provocation. No reply. I asked two more times. No reply. In the post that I wrote, if you have read it, I was both impartial and viewing it from a journalistic point-of-view. At no point did I incite a riot or a lynch mob out for Frolic Mills’ blood. No, I was as objective as one person could possibly be when one individual’s actions could possibly affect the Second Life experiences of every single user on the grid. Yet, without a word, I was ejected from the group and refused a reason.

When not towing the party line or speaking one’s mind as a writer/journalist (with AP affiliations, I might add), is it the norm to be frozen out or greeted with ignorance? If I had been biased in the posting in Frolic’s favor, would I have not been ejected from the group? Gee, perhaps I would have even received my very own ticker tape parade down Best of SL Boulevard. I find it amusing that so many people claim to want to be individuals, make good use of their own Freedom of Speech and pass judgment on others for their actions, but when an outside party speaks their mind with tact and objectivity (note: in the previous post, I even stated that I was unsure if he was guilty of trademark dilution), they are ejected from a group that claims:

THE BEST OF SL Magazine is a monthly publication which celebrates and honors those who have excelled in ANY field in Second Life.

Want to find out about the best of anything? Join this group; these people know it all, so feel free to ask away!

Btw, this is a chat group, and boy do we ever chat ! So if you don’t like to communicate this is not the group for you.

Best regards,

Frolic Mills – Chief Editor

Is there fine print left out that explains that all of the above is fine and good, as long as you agree emphatically with everything that Frolic Mills says and does? If so, I missed that part and I think quite a few other people did, too. I wrote an impartial piece that focused more on the rammifications of the situation of Frolic Mills’ committing trademark infringement and casting a negative light on Second Life as a whole, but apparently, I struck a nerve. Personal word of advice to Frolic Mills: If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

Your Second Life could be changing soon (alternate title: The clothes can stay on the rack for the day).

The question of the hour is whether or not Donald Trump has grounds for a case against Frolic Mills for trademark infringement in the use of the trademarked “Miss Universe” in Mills’ Miss SL Universe pageant and organization. In order to proceed with forming opinions, one should be familiarized with what trademark infringement and trademark dilution are first.

1. Trademark Infringement:
If a party owns the rights to a particular trademark, that party can sue subsequent parties for trademark infringement. 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1125. The standard is “likelihood of confusion.” To be more specific, the use of a trademark in connection with the sale of a good constitutes infringement if it is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of those goods or as to the sponsorship or approval of such goods. In deciding whether consumers are likely to be confused, the courts will typically look to a number of factors, including: (1) the strength of the mark; (2) the proximity of the goods; (3) the similarity of the marks; (4) evidence of actual confusion; (5) the similarity of marketing channels used; (6) the degree of caution exercised by the typical purchaser; (7) the defendant’s intent. Polaroid Corp. v. Polarad Elect. Corp., 287 F.2d 492 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 820 (1961).

So, for example, the use of an identical mark on the same product would clearly constitute infringement. If I manufacture and sell computers using the mark “Apple,” my use of that mark will likely cause confusion among consumers, since they may be misled into thinking that the computers are made by Apple Computer, Inc. Using a very similar mark on the same product may also give rise to a claim of infringement, if the marks are close enough in sound, appearance, or meaning so as to cause confusion. So, for example, “Applet” computers may be off-limits; perhaps also “Apricot.” On the other end of the spectrum, using the same term on a completely unrelated product will not likely give rise to an infringement claim. Thus, Apple Computer and Apple Records can peacefully co-exist, since consumers are not likely to think that the computers are being made by the record company, or vice versa.

Between the two ends of the spectrum lie many close cases, in which the courts will apply the factors listed above. So, for example, where the marks are similar and the products are also similar, it will be difficult to determine whether consumer confusion is likely. In one case, the owners of the mark “Slickcraft” used the mark in connection with the sale of boats used for general family recreation. They brought an infringement action against a company that used the mark “Sleekcraft” in connection with the sale of high-speed performance boats. Because the two types of boats served substantially different markets, the court concluded that the products were related but not identical. However, after examining many of the factors listed above, the court concluded that the use of Sleekcraft was likely to cause confusion among consumers. AMF Inc. v. Sleekcraft Boats, 599 F.2d 341 (9th Cir. 1979).
(researched from the Harvard Law Metaschool at

2. Trademark Dilution:
In addition to bringing an action for infringement, owners of trademarks can also bring an action for trademark dilution under either federal or state law. Under federal law, a dilution claim can be brought only if the mark is “famous.” In deciding whether a mark is famous, the courts will look to the following factors: (1) the degree of inherent or acquired distinctiveness; (2) the duration and extent of use; (3) the amount of advertising and publicity; (4) the geographic extent of the market; (5) the channels of trade; (6) the degree of recognition in trading areas; (7) any use of similar marks by third parties; (8) whether the mark is registered. 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c). Kodak, Exxon, and Xerox are all examples of famous marks. Under state law, a mark need not be famous in order to give rise to a dilution claim. Instead, dilution is available if: (1) the mark has “selling power” or, in other words, a distinctive quality; and (2) the two marks are substantially similar. Mead Data Central, Inc. v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., 875 F.2d 1026 (2d Cir. 1989).

Once the prerequisites for a dilution claim are satisfied, the owner of a mark can bring an action against any use of that mark that dilutes the distinctive quality of that mark, either through “blurring” or “tarnishment” of that mark; unlike an infringement claim, likelihood of confusion is not necessary. Blurring occurs when the power of the mark is weakened through its identification with dissimilar goods. For example, Kodak brand bicycles or Xerox brand cigarettes. Although neither example is likely to cause confusion among consumers, each dilutes the distinctive quality of the mark. Tarnishment occurs when the mark is cast in an unflattering light, typically through its association with inferior or unseemly products or services. So, for example, in a recent case, ToysRUs successfully brought a tarnishment claim against, a pornographic web-site. Toys “R” Us v. Akkaoui, 40 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1836 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 29, 1996).
(again used from the Harvard Law site at

Next, can a case be assumed against Frolic Mills for trademark infringement? In my opinion, yes.

In the ad, Mills clearly calls the Miss SL Universe pageant as Miss Universe, whose trademark is owned by Donald Trump and the Miss Universe Organization. Second, despite the SL pageant being held on a virtual medium, the use of “Miss” and “Universe” in the title of the pageant and subsequent organization would constitute trademark infringement.

Now, has an act of trademark dilution been committed? In order to prove so, it would have to proven that the activities of Frolic Mills’ Miss SL Universe pageant has lowered the value of Donald Trump’s Miss Universe pageant. Well, wouldn’t that be a matter of opinion? If one person thinks less of Trump’s pageant, does that constitute trademark dilution? I don’t believe it is so simple to determine, since it would mean comparing real life to Second Life.

The third question of the problem is whether or not Frolic Mills experienced a financial profit from the Miss SL Universe pageant. Due to the fact that he does charge an exuberant amount to designers who rent on the Best of SL Boulevard and Frolic does market his shopping district in association directly with Miss SL Universe, designers with shops on his sim are directly connected and utilized during the Miss SL Universe pageant, it is clear that he does experience a financial profit as a direct result of his Miss SL Universe pageant.

Therefore, in my opinion, yes, Frolic Mills is guilty of trademark infringement, but it is unclear whether he is guilty of trademark dilution. What is to come of this situation when you’re facing an investigation helmed by one of the most wealthy and powerful men in the world?

If the situation does escalate to one of further legal action, what would the rammifications be upon Second Life, if Frolic is legally found guilty of trademark infringement and/or trademark dilution? Would photosourcing in the fashion industry be the next target? If a shape is advertised to be based on an image or representation of a famous model or actress, will it be a future case of trademark infringement or copyright infringement? If a movie or play is enacted on Second Life, will that be grounds for a lawsuit? I spoke at length with several young ladies associated with the Miss SL Universe pageant and due to the nature of the events at hand, I thought it best to not include quotes or conversations that took place, but I do thank them for their assistance and cooperation. Likewise, I chose not to contact Frolic Mills, as anything he stated could possibly be considered in the situation. It would be interesting to note, as well, that he has changed the name of the pageant to Miss Virtual World, according to a participant interviewed, in light of the investigation by Linden Lab.

 According to an e-mail sent out from Linden Lab:
 Subject: Re: Notification of Trademark Infringement Received by Linden Lab
We’re writing to let you know about changes made to your profile in
Second Life.  Miss Universe L.P, LLLP — the owner of the Miss Universe
trademark — has complained about use of the Miss Universe trademark in
the Second Life environment.

Linden Lab respects the rights of both Second Life residents and
trademark owners.  Accordingly, Linden Lab has removed uses of “Miss
Universe” and “Miss SL Universe” from your Second Life profile.  Please
do not continue to use “Miss Universe” or “Miss SL Universe” in the
Second Life environment.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Best regards,

Linden Lab

I believe it’s correct to assume that all use of Miss Universe and Miss SL Universe when speaking of the pageant is to be terminated at once, according to the e-mail from the Lindens. Again, what will the future rammifications of these actions be? SL clubs named after RL clubs? Yes, the names of clubs, magazines, organizations, movies, etc. are copyrighted and yes, I suppose it can be said that if, as a hypothetical example, an individual chooses to name their shop as Sacks 5th Avenue, it would be considered questionable, in light of current events. The sellers of those little bottles of champagne and beer with Bud labels on the little bottles or those who sell Bong vodka on Second Life are, technically, also guilty of trademark infringement. What’s next to come?

Second Life has received an abundance of real life publicity with such events as Callie Cline’s avatar being used in Maxim Magazine and CSI making use of Second Life on an episode of the program. However, will circumstances such as this shed an unnecessary negative light upon the game, if it should be focused upon by the real life media? If so, how will it affect the way you live your Second Life?

Twisted Vendetta
Thursday, October 23, 2008

My vacation to the dark side. Part uno.

It’s no secret that women are very influential creatures. They have the ability to make the sun shine, turn a bad day into a pretty damn good day and even more. I’m only human. I blame one woman in particular for this, my trip to the dark side. Whether it’s temporary or permanent, only time will tell.

Skin: Not telling yet, because I haven’t seen it everywhere and everyone is still wearing the same Abyss skins.

Hair: >TRUTH< – James – Java

Eyes: Armidi Body (True Enhance) – Chronic Blue

Jeans: Emery – Destroyer black denim pants

Shirt: Emery Block Party white t-shirt

Jacket: Emery – Stud[y]ing Politics Cardigan + Shirt

Shoes: {Kari} – Kicks – Set on the “Stephanie” texture in the pack

Piercings: same as always

Skin: still not telling.

Hair: >Truth< Idealist -Java

Jacket: *BOOM* Licensed to Ill hoodie – Homme

Jacket: Emery Jordan V red tee

Okay, one small thing about all three of those shots are the shoes. I used the same texture in all three, but the pack comes with 20 different shoes, esssentially, for only 350L. You can’t really beat that. 20 different styles and colors of sneakers for only 350L. Good stuff.

Special note worth paying attention to:

On October 30th 6-10pm sl time, we at Crush Row will be holding a massive Black and White Ball to celebrate Halloween. I’ll be djing 6-8pm sl time and DJ Damon Dollinger will spin the 8-10pm portion of the event. We will be giving away some pretty amazing items (some are one-of-a-kind) from Crush Row designers, such as Sn@tch, House of Nyla, 7th Street, *BOOM*, Allure and many others. Trick or treat for additional free clothing and some pretty fantastic designer items. Free swag, free prizes and a hell of a good time with great music. You can’t afford to be anywhere else.

Movin’ on up.

I’ve never been big on suits or such, but sometimes, they’re a necessary evil. If I have to wear a suit, I’m going to wear it my way, just like Sinatra says.

Hair: The Abyss – Dystopia – Full Moon

Shirt & Vest: {Gisaci} Cambridge Cuffed Shirt w/Vest – Nero

Pants: {Gisaci} Ruvido Slacks – Annerire

Details: Gloves by Sinjun Soyer, Eyes by Armidi True Enhance – Chronic Blue, skin and everything else same as always

Location: Outside Georgiabean Lately at Crush Row on the Doll City sim

Hair: same as above

Suit: {Gisaci} Classic Italia Suit – Black (shirt, jacket and pants)

Tie: {Gisaci} Classic Italia 3-tie set – Black (comes with three ties)

Location: Outside of Rumour on the Doll City sim at Crush Row

Party Alert! Stay tuned tomorrow for vital details of the Black & White Ball on October 30th at Crush Row.

Over and out.

What goes around, comes around.

Once again, let’s take a look at two pieces from AOHARU’s mens’ line.

Hair: Gritty Kitty- Ghost – Licorice

Shirt: AOHARU – Spring Shirt – White

Gloves: Sinjun Soyer

Ink: CB Dragon’s Fury full

Piercings: TSS

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it’s damn hard to find mens’ clothing that actually fits. Maybe it’s just me. The sleeves are often too small or the jeans cuffs too small and the result is me swearing at the screen for a full hour, while I try to make them fit. I’ve never had that problem with anything Machang has made with AOHARU. It looks smooth, fits perfectly and I never have to message her with questions.

Jacket: AOHARU Snake Leather Jacket

Location for both shots: Crush Row on the Doll City sim

I’m picky about jackets, particularly leather jackets. The wrong ones look like throwbacks from a cheap bikerploitation flick and the right ones look just like this. It’s fit for a road trip, a party, a club event or just about anything that you can imagine. I appreciate the detail Machang puts into her textures. The snake skin is subtle and not cheesy, where it looks like she peeled a snake and took a photo of it. I’m allowed to be a little morbid. Halloween’s coming up. I give both the shirt and the jacket two thumbs up. If The Fonz went to Fashion Week, he’d wear this jacket and be the coolest mofo there.

Check out more AOHARU gear for ladies and gents in her shop on Crush Row.

Even a dictator has to dress well.

Another fine AOHARU creation comin’ atcha.

Vest: AOHARU_BT_SetVest_Black

Cuffs: Georgiabean Lately

No witty commentary today, folks. All I can say is that I don’t like clothes all that much and personally, feel that pants should be outlawed, but I do dig vests a hell of a lot RL and SL. A vest can pretty much be worn anywhere with anything at anytime. They’re like the Chuck Taylors or actual clothing. This vest by Machang Pinchot of AOHARU is as good as it gets.

This is Halloween… this is Halloween…

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. As a child, it was an excuse to run amok (amok,amok, amok) hopped up on sugar and get into all sorts of trouble without actually getting into trouble. As an adult, it’s an excuse to run amok (amok, amok, amok) hopped up on no sugar and get into all sorts of trouble without actually getting caught into trouble.

I wandered upon the Halloween set-up at Antiqua Paradise and was far from disappointed. ( If you’re as much of a fan of horror movies, you don’t want to miss this sim. Basically, they recreated moments and scenes from horror movies. There’s Stepford, The Bates Motel & House, the Myers House from Halloween, Freddy’s boiler room from Nightmare on Elm Street, you can be chased by an actual flock of creepay birds straight from Hitchcock’s The Birds, be devoured by pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and even get yourself ground into beef in Soylent Green (SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE! IT’S PEOPLE!). Thrown in there with the entire set-up are some pretty stellar photo opportunities for those of you who like a little bit of freakayness. Get stretched, hop in an iron maiden, get cut in two with blood splattering everywhere on the (literally) table saw, take a nap in one of the coffins, and even lay dead at the feet of Michael Myers. I’d say it’s more cool and interesting than actually scary. You can even stand in for Janet Leigh and have Anthony Perkins hack you up in the shower. If you love horror movies or just enjoy macabre photos, I definitely recommend checking out Antigua Paradise.

Now onto the fun:

Everything’s sunny when you’re blind.

Lunchtime poll topic of the day: is there anything better than free swag?



Shirt: AOHARU (by the Tokyo Princess Machang Pinchot) – BT_Silkflower Shirt_Black

Gloves: Sinjun Soyer

Jeans: Aitui

Location: Private beach on Doll City sim


Shirt: AOHARU – BT – StripeShirt_Black

Gloves: Same

Jeans: Same

Hair: Still from Gritty Kitty

The thing that I dig the most from Machang Pinchot’s guys’ clothing is her attention to detail. She understands the male shape more than some designers. For instance, how many times have you put on a shirt or pants with prim attachments and the attachable sleeves were six sizes too small and you had to stretch them or resize them yourself? It makes me wonder if some designers use midgets for sizing on their gear for guys. It’s actually become a pet peeve of mine. That and really short shirts. I’m not a designer and I will never claim to be, but one thing that I do know is that when designing mens’ gear, you should keep in mind that we come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and preferences. Some guys dig tight pants, while some (like me) prefer them loose with room to move. If you’re going to add a prim collar or sleeves, keep in mind that we aren’t all the same size. I had that slight problem with Gritty Kitty’s Chutte Pants. It took me an hour or so to stretch the pants cuffs out enough that they fit right and by the time I finished, I didn’t want to look at them, due to frustration.

I try very hard to not practice nepatism. It’s another pet peeve of mine when someone gives friends preferential treatment based on friendship alone and not actions or talents. Machang is a friend of mine, but that’s not why I’m blogging her gear. Look at them in the photos. They are REALLY good, high quality shirts! No nepatism necessary to see that.

While on the road.

Here’s a useful piece of knowledge: when hitchhiking or backpacking out of your comfort zone, a cough and carefully placed itch could save your life.

Model: Bongo Oldbull

Shirts: *BOOM* by Aranel Ah

Pants: Gritty Kitty – Chuttes Black

Cuffs: Georgiabean Lately – Depp Cuff Sortof

Facial thingamahjig: *BOOM* All Star

Shape: Custom job from Babyhoney Bailey with Georgiabean Lately

Choker: Custom St. Christopher’s Medal – Babyhoney Bailey with Georgiabean Lately

Skin: <TheAbyss> Scorpio_Origin 4[A] Smooth

Hair: Gritty Kitty – Deadline (brown)

Eyes: Infinity Designs Ltd. – Eternal Essence – Bliss Eyes

Misc.: MC Wallet Chain, <-Puncture-> Sedated Ear Piercing set, ~A&G~ Twisted Fate ink

There were 15 or so shirts to choose from, so I had a hell of a time deciding which ones to shoot. I managed to get the 4 in that fit my personality the best: (left to right) To Write Love On Her Arms, Cool Ain’t Perfect Perfect Ain’t Cool, Me So Horny, and Hope. Really, all of them fit me pretty well and there’s at least two shirts, I’m betting that would suit just about anyone. That’s the beauty of them. There is something for everyone.

Storytime: It was March 20th of 2007. I remember the date, because it was two days before my then girlfriend/SL wife’s rez day and I was scouring every corner of SL to find the perfect gifts for her. I found *BOOM* by accident when tp jumping from store to store (specifically ones that I knew she didn’t shop at, so I wouldn’t risk her having whatever I got already) in my hunt. Everything in the store was easily accessible, in the way that it didn’t look eLeet or like I needed a personal referral to rez there. I dug that. I wound up buying her a few things there, as well as the Tartan kilt/man-skirt for myself. Over a year later, here I am blogging another fine Aranel Ah creation.

I really dig the black grease stripes under the eyes. I know that they’re typically for jocks, but I see them in my own special(ed) way. They look tough and I like that. Plus, I hadn’t seen anything quite like it, since I’d found the Aitui eyedrop prim facial tattoos that I still wear regularly. They’re dirty and look messy and some girl’s mother or father would probably try to wash mah face and that’s appealing. What I’m getting at is, to me, they’re unique and that gets a gold star everytime.

On an entertainment note, I am friggin’ addicted to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. I started reading them with a friend and didn’t really expect to like them, but I do. I got her the first one and when she finished it, I got her the second and started reading the first. She finished the second and was onto the third, then I finished the first and was onto the second. Now, she’s on the fourth and I’m onto the third. Have you ever felt genuine remorse after finishing a book, simply because it’s over and you can’t keep it going. It’s not usually the type of book that I would get into (i.e. no nudity, no sex so far, no mass murders, no huge plot twists or no obscure references to VU songs), but to my own surprise, I think I’m going to be upset when it’s my turn to finish the fourth book.