Artist Anthony Antonellis is getting slapped with a law suit over a rubber band. In a bottle of water.
The “sculptures” that the artist sells are water bottles from the well known brand Poland Springs. The bottles are still filled with their original mineral water. However, Antonellis puts a power balance rubber band (a sports accessory) inside. He claims his website – that doesn’t resemble the Poland Springs brand website – “were meant to be tongue-in-cheek.”
Poland Springs owner, Nestlé Water North America, claims Antonellis has infringed their trademark with his website polandspringbornbetter.com. This (ab)use is confusing, says Nestlé.
Antonellis doesn’tt believe in consumer confusion: “Not one person has accidentally purchased the $300,- Poland Spring Power Balance sculptures thinking they were purchasing a product from Nestlé.”, he states.
Antonellis has a good chance to win this. Artist can get away with a lot. Freedom of speech and parody can be like kryptonite to trademark and copyright law.