Update on the eccentric has-been’s trademark infringement trial.
By DAVID ASHENFELTER
Free Press Staff Writer
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has won a partial victory in its trademark infringement lawsuit against lawyer and conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel.
During the weekend, Schlussel renamed the identically named organization she created last year to Council of American-Israel Relations to head off a legal battle with CAIR, the nation’s largest Islamic civil rights group.
Because of that, U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn declined Monday to formally order Schlussel to stop using CAIR’s full name. He also refused to prevent her from using CAIR’s acronym in Internet domain names she created.
He said he would review that issue in the coming weeks if CAIR pursues it.
“We largely got what we wanted,” CAIR attorney Gadeir Abbas said after the hearing in federal court in Detroit. He said he would file court papers within 10 days in hopes of stopping Schlussel from using CAIR in her Internet domain names.
Schlussel’s lawyer also claimed victory.
“They didn’t get anything they wanted,” said attorney Andrew Kochanowski. “They wanted a restraining order and they didn’t get it.”
CAIR sued Schlussel last week, saying she stole the group’s name and trademark last year by creating identically named organizations in Michigan.
It accused her of using the name to cause confusion among CAIR supporters and to siphon off its charitable donations.
Schlussel countered that CAIR gave up its right to the name by failing since 2001 to file legally required reports with the State of Michigan.
Schlussel told one of her Web site followers that she registered CAIR’s name and named herself executive director “to drive the Muslims crazy.”
CAIR says Schlussel spews anti-Islamic hatred on her Web site, www.debbieschlussel.com . She says she exposes the intolerance of Islam and how it infringes on the American way of life.
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