AMPAS settles with RAI over use of Oscar

Is “Oscar” just another word for “award”?

Italy’s pubcaster RAI thought so, and has been using the word for years in shows such as “Oscar del vino” (Wine Oscars), “Oscar del teatro” (Theater Oscars), and “Oscar della TV” (TV Oscars).

But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thinks otherwise, aggressively defending its Oscar trademark worldwide.

After filing a lawsuit three years ago, AMPAS announced June 19 that it had settled amicably with RAI over the channel’s use of the word in these shows, which also aired Stateside thanks to an RAI Intl. deal with satcaster EchoStar.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

According to Academy attorney David Quinto the case was settled after the Acad submitted evidence that the Oscar trademark is strongly recognized by Italos.

Quinto cites “a consumer survey that determined RAI viewers would likely be confused by RAI’s use of the Academy’s trademark.”

It also says there is “undisputed evidence that Italian dictionaries first and foremost define ‘Oscar’ as the award given by the Academy.”

That’s true. But the second definition for “Oscar” in widely used Italian dictionary Zanichelli reads, “The first prize of any yearly event.”


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