A marketing lesson in trademarks: Hands off the Oscars

The organization behind Hollywood’s most glamorous event is suing a marketing group over use of its name and spoiling celebrities with swag.

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There’s a “swag bag” showdown surrounding the 2016 Academy Awards.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is suing a marketing organization for misappropriating its trademarked name and offering fake swag bags.

Distinctive Assets says it offers “celebrity product integration”—essentially bags of free gifts—during awards shows and other Hollywood events. Despite what the marketing group has led nominees and event-goers to believe, the Oscars doesn’t offer such a service, and certainly not from Distinctive Assets.

The swag bag company made headlines this year for the supposed $200,000 “Oscars gift bag” that celebrities were set to receive. The academy’s lawsuit was sparked by the big-money nature of the bags, coupled with their including a vaping device, $275 toilet paper roll and sex toy.

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