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.
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