Imagine for a moment Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone kicking another high profile A-list male movie star to the Melrose Ave. curb and venting to the Wall Street Journal that there is no place on the Paramount lot for a production company that failed to lock down its name.
Plan B, Hollywood (the production shingle partnering Brad Pitt, Paramount Pictures chief Brad Grey and, formerly, Jennifer Aniston), meet Plan B, New Jersey (a morning-after pill concocted by Barr Pharmaceuticals subsidiary Duramed). And only the latter, approved this week by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an over-the-counter, 72-hour post-coital solution, seems to be punch lined with an ®, the ominous symbol for registered trademarks.
Given the long trajectory of medical research and development, you can bet Barr Pharmaceuticals got to the trademark table long before Brad, Jen and Brad's brainstorm. And although deep-pocketed firms like Barr can sometimes choose to sue over the trickier-to-prove adjacent use of a registered term, chances are they might just settle for a Brangelina TV commercial endorsement. Almost makes you wonder if pal George Clooney disbanded his production partnership with Steven Soderbergh because he got wind of a new OBGYN method called C-Section Eight.