TRADEMARKS: Imitated But Not Flattered

Imitated But Not Flattered

The folks at Cliffs Notes can't seem to take a joke. Last week the purveyor of the plot summaries so dear to lazy students won a court battle to prevent Doubleday from distributing Spy Notes, a Spy magazine parody.

Billed as a "guide to the books everyone talks about and some people even read," Spy Notes satirizes hip, urban novels. A chapter synopsis of a Tama Janowitz novel: "Eleanor goes to Wilfredo's apartment for a dinner party. The couples are all men. The reader understands that Wilfredo is homosexual. Eleanor does not. This is called dramatic irony."

Cliffs Notes objected to...

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