June 20, 2007

It was announced yesterday that ABC, Inc., in response to its receipt of a cease-and-desist letter from Dr. Seuss Enterprises, has decided to change the name of its upcoming television series “Sam I Am” to “Samantha Be Good.” According to the Yahoo news article (link below), “Samantha Be Good” will star Christina Applegate as a woman suffering from amnesia. An attorney for Dr. Seuss Enterprises confirmed that a trademark infringement claim was asserted via cease-and-desist letter last month, noting that “Sam-I-Am” is the main character in the popular children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel). According to the Jam! Showbiz article (link below), there was a concern that “the trademark value might be diluted if people began to associate the name with a successful TV show instead of only the gleeful purveyor of colourful vittles.” Although ABC, Inc. confirmed the name change, it did not publicly announce any specific reasons for the name change. According to the USPTO trademark database, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has filed over 200 trademark applications, three of which include “Sam I Am,” and of those three applications, two were abandoned prior to registration and the third was cancelled in 2002.

Yahoo News Article: LINK
Jam! Showbiz Article: LINK
Official Dr. Seuss Website: LINK
“Green Eggs and Ham” Wikipedia Entry: LINK
ABC’s “Untitled” Fall 2007 Show Webpage: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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