Intellectual Property Law

George Clooney lookalike in video ad sparks legal battle between coffee competitors

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A disclaimer on an Israeli Espresso Club video ad featuring a George Clooney lookalike tells viewers he’s not the famous Hollywood actor.

However, Nespresso, which uses the real George Clooney in its own advertising for coffee and related products, has sued over the spoof. A Haaretz story provides links to videos of both a Nespresso ad, which features the real Clooney in a luxury setting, and the Israeli Espresso Club ad, in which the confused lookalike’s car is towed as a bystander explains there was no valet parker.

So far, Nespresso’s suit against Israeli Espresso Club has not gone well: In addition to rejecting a request for a court order blocking the tongue-in-cheek ad, a Tel Aviv court last week ordered Nespresso to pay its competitor’s legal fees, according to Haaretz and the Times of Israel.

The judge said rights over the use of Clooney’s image do not solely belong to Nespresso and noted that the Israeli Espresso Club is targeting its advertising to a different market segment.

An appeal by Nespresso is now ongoing.

The Associated Press also has a story.

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