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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 09/27/2010

Paris Hilton's 'hot' lawsuit victory

By Jen Chaney

The greeting card that launched a lawsuit. (Image Via The Pitch Blogs)

Paris Hilton apparently cares enough to settle lawsuits with the very best.

After she sued Hallmark three years ago for printing a greeting card that used her likeness and the now utterly retro catchphrase "That's hot," the case has been settled, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Terms of said settlement were not released, but THR notes that "we have reason to believe Hilton walked away with a favorable package." Awesome. An heiress totally needs to receive fat settlements in ridiculous lawsuits.

So what are the implications of this?

Well, Hallmark cried free speech when the matter first came up, but an appeals court shot down that argument. Does that mean no one is allowed to say "That's hot" ever again? Which, honestly, would be fine since people pretty much stopped saying that in 2008? Not exactly.

Hilton did trademark the term in 2007, which means that anyone trying to sell a product that uses the phrase -- especially in conjunction with Hilton's image, as Hallmark did -- could face legal problems. But you and me? We can talk like Hilton to our heart's content.

My question is: Does this set a precedent that will lead to another lucrative settlement in the Kim Kardashian inflatable doll suit? In the name of justice, we can only hope.

By Jen Chaney  | September 27, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Paris Hilton  
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While awaiting expert opinions from the crack(ed) Lizard Island legal firm, I suspect that celebrities have the right of ownership to their own images under certain circumstances. So perhaps it was the synergy of "That's hot"™ and the recognizable headshot of Paris© that made Hallmark® amenable to settling this case. After all, even a spoiled superrich heiress still has legal rights.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 27, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

But isn't there an exception for satire?

Posted by: talleyl | September 27, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

talley, that's why we need a lawyer to chime in to explain whether the card is covered by the satire exception.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 27, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

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