TASER International, which manufactures the controversial electric stun guns that bear its name, has given a jolt to Linden Lab and a number of its corporate executives with a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona.
TASER, which faces numerous lawsuits of its own filed by individuals who have been tased (or, in some cases, their survivors) is concerned that virtual TASER replica items are being sold in Second Life as gear for SL avatars (see pic at left).
TASER also alleges that its brand will be damaged via association with virtual sex and virtual drug use occuring within Second Life. From the 102-page complaint:
All of the defendants that sell virtual property like Plaintiff’s real ones, under the mark TASER for use in Second Life programs and grids, also sell adult-only explicit images and scenes… thus attaching such content to the TASER mark… and also sell unlawful drug materials… thus attaching such content to the TASER mark…
TASER ‘s claims are primarily based on trademark considerations. The company seeks damages in excess of $75,000.
UPDATE: New World Notes has more…
UPDATE 2: GamesLaw offers a legal analysis of the TASER suit.
UPDATE 3: New World Notes reports that Linden Lab, owner of SL, contacted an in-world vendor of virtual items and requested that "Taser" be replaced with "stun gun."