Creativity Magazine

Courtroom Fun With Plywood, Chairs, Apples & Security Cameras Gone Wild!

By Mrstrongest @mrstrongarm

Are you a cynical person who likes to think the worst of your fellow man? Of course not. You’re a kind, caring, loving person– that’s why you’re reading this blog…  : )

Be warned, however: reading this post might make you cynical. That’s because it’s time for another edition of… Loopy Lawsuits!

I do a cartoon illustration every month for Inside Counsel Magazine. It’s for a humor feature about unusual lawsuits. They send me brief summaries of four cases, I do a sketch for each, they pick the one they liked best.

The latest winner involves rap singer Flo Rida. He’s being sued by ADT Security Services for not paying the balance on a 27-camera home security system. Here’s the final:

cartoon illustration for legal magazine humor feature about strange lawsuits, suit involved rap singer Flo Rida who refused to pay for home security system, cartoon shows courtroom filled with security cameras watching everyone's movements

A South Dakota man was injured when a gust of wind blew sheets of plywood off a loading cart at a store. I saw a gavel-happy judge filling in for the wind. 

cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit involving windblown plywood that caused injury, judge slamming gavel causing panels of judge's bench to fly off and hit lawyer and witness, and ceiling to fall on jurors

Emeco Industries is suing Restoration Hardware for selling a knockoff version of
its Navy Chair, which Emeco first made for U.S. Navy warships and submarines in 1944. Restoration wasn’t shy about lifting the design: it called its version the Naval Chair. After Emeco filed suit, however, it decided on a new name: the Aluminum Standard Side Chair.

The navy and copyright infringement both suggested piracy. And it seemed only right to include Popeye on the all-sailor jury.

cartoon illustration for lawsuit involving trademark violation by company which manufactured Navy Chair virtually identical to another company's design, lawyer showing chair to pirate in witness box, judge at helm of ship's steering wheel, jurors dressed as sailors including Popeye

Apple, Inc., formerly Apple Computer, Inc., is suing a Polish grocer for using as part of its domain name, thereby infringing on Apple’s trademark name.

This one had me scratching my head for awhile. The .pl is perfectly legitimate because it’s the internet country code top-level domain for Poland. And Apple doesn’t use the letter ‘a’ as part of its brand– so where was the conflict?

Then it hit me: looks like some weird abbreviation for “apple”! If someone asked you to “pronounce”, what would you say? “Apple,” right? Seems like a stretch to say this amounts to copyright violation, but apparently there’s also a look-alike logo involved.

I saw a courtroom full of fruit bins, and a friendly neighborhood grocer using computer monitors to “label” same:

cartoon illustration about lawsuit involving Apple Computer and a Polish grocer's website domain name, grocer in witness box using computer screens as signs for his fruit bins, judge eating apples, jurors buried in fruit bins

And here’s the original sketch for the security system lawsuit:

rough sketch for cartoon illustration for legal magazine humor feature about strange lawsuits, suit involved rap singer Flo Rida who refused to pay for home security system, cartoon shows courtroom filled with security cameras watching everyone's movements

But wait– there’s a bonus!

Last month’s winner involved ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s. The Vermont company sued Caballero Video over the latter’s “Ben & Cherry” porn film series, which included titles like Boston Cream Thighs and Peanut Butter D-Cups, which mimic the names of Ben & Jerry’s flavors. A federal judge has blocked Caballero from marketing the series, at least for now.

I had a vision of an unusual dairy-esque “starlet” in the witness box.

cartoon illustration for strange lawsuit magazine humor feature involving porn movie maker who based his porno film titles on Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor names, busty cow porn movie starlet on witness stand while judge, lawyer, and jury eat ice cream

What do you think? Do you have any security cameras watching your birdfeeder?
how about the freezer where you keep your high-fat super-premium ice cream?? I’d
never heard of a Navy Chair– had you? Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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