Thursday, June 4, 2009

This Cardinal Doesn't Tweet

St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa has sued social networking giant Twitter, Inc., in a California superior court for trademark infringement, among other claims, after an anonymous user created an account in the manager's name that included LaRussa's photo and sent vulgar postings.

The case against the Delaware corporation, Anthony LaRussa v. Twitter, Inc. and Does 1-25 inclusive (CGC09-488101), filed in Superior Court for the City and County of San Francisco, includes counts alleging trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, cybersquatting, misappropriation of name, misappropriation of likeness, invasion of privacy and intentional misrepresentation. The 64-year-old LaRussa, who resides in Walnut Creek, Calif., in the off-season and is himself an attorney, alleges that Twitter allowed a user to establish a false account in his name, from which originated numerous tweets that alluded to two deceased Cardinals pitchers and LaRussa's own brush with the law in a driving under the influence charge. The heading, "Hey there! Tony LaRussa is using Twitter," along with a picture of LaRussa, appeared above a series of tweets, including the following: "Lost 2 out of 3, but we made it out of Chicago without one drunk driving incident or dead pitcher...I'd call that an I-55 Series." Included on the bogus Twitter site was a bulleted item that read: "Bio Parodies are fun for everyone."
According to LaRussa's attorney, Twitter did not respond to his week-long efforts to contact the corporation, but the same day the complaint was filed, the phony LaRussa page and postings was removed.
LaRussa, whose 30-year managerial career for the Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals includes a couple of World Series championships, claims the unauthorized use of his name and likeness injured his reputation, damaged his goodwill and caused him emotional distress.
The suit is pending. In the meantime, LaRussa's Cardinals are 30-23, in second place in the National League Central Division, a game behind the Milwaukee Brewers. The veteran skipper is more likely to obtain relief from the court than from his bullpen.


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  2. If LaRussa does win his case, revenge is tweet!