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Maybe they could trademark their middle finger

Oprah’s ex-boyfriend, movie critic Roger Ebert is in a bit of a tiff with Disney over what Ebert feels was an “offensively low” offer to continue hosting At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper. Ebert responded with a counter-offer. Instead of responding with a counter-counter-offer however, Disney implied Ebert could use his proprietary two thumbs to position the counter offer well beyond the reach of his proctologist.

Registered as a federal trademark in 1995, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert began using the “two thumbs up” designation as far back as 1986. According to the movie review website Rotten Tomatoes, Ebert is claiming that it was Disney that unilaterally decided to stop using the iconic thumbs designation after receiving Ebert’s counter-offer. Disney-ABC maintains that it was Ebert who decided to withhold the thumbs until a new contract was signed. As for now, the show seems to be proceeding without Ebert or thumbs while Ebert continues to write movie reviews for his website.

While he waits for an answer that may never come, at least Roger Ebert can use his trademarked thumbs as tiny backrests for two fist-sized chairs.

Brett Trout

Posted in Trademark Law. Tagged with .