Microsoft sued over Windows Phone 7 TV ads

Those funny recent TV ads for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 are the target of a newly filed lawsuit from a company that claims the TV ads were lifted from their own marketing campaign. Ad Week reports that the lawsuit was filed by Cellrderm, a Boca Raton, Florida based novelty company. Besides Microsoft, the lawsuit goes after the ad agency that created the TV commercials, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

Cellrderm sells a novelty product called Cell-R-Derm that humorously comments on some people's obsession with cell phone use. It also has some YouTube ads including one posted in 2009 that shows a woman trying to get the "attention" of her significant other in the bedroom while he is busy texting on his mobile phone. Cellrderm claims that Microsoft and Crispin Porter + Bogusky stole the concept of the ad for its recent Windows Phone 7 TV campaign. That ad does indeed show a woman in the bedroom being ignored by her man who is using his cell phone. A similar Cell-R-Derm YouTube video showing men using phones in a public bathroom is also similar to another Windows Phone 7 TV commercial.

Cellrderm states in its lawsuit, "The Microsoft Commercials copy both the sequence of events and the character interplay found in the Cellrderm Commercials. The Microsoft Commercials also copy other copyrightable expression, including but not limited to clothing, gestures, character appearance, camera angles, and other visual elements from the Cellrderm Commercials." It is asking for an injunction to keep the TV ads from being run along with profits gained from the ad and other damages. Microsoft and Crispin Porter + Bogusky have yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

RIM given 6 months to 'prove' its top management works

Next Story

WiFi hacker who terrorized neighbors sentenced to 18 years in jail

63 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Okay, this Cell-R-Derm company makes patches to get you to stop using your phone? (like how there's patches to get you to stop smoking.) What the heck is this? Is a product like that really THAT necessary?

Article said,
It is asking for an injunction to keep the TV ads from being run along with profits gained from the ad and other damages.

Microsoft has yet to make profit from Windows Phone.

The ad in question looks such so cheap. The girl looks like a character from The Sims lol. They should be glad to Microsoft for the refinement

:: Lyon :: said,
So if I open up my own soda company, I cannot put an ad showing someone drinks it from the can without being sued by Coca Cola?

If you show the Polar Bears drinking it, get ready to pay.

UndergroundWire said,

If you show the Polar Bears drinking it, get ready to pay.


Like the new Pepsi commercial with the party bears coaxing the Coca Cola polar bears, Coke logo plainly visible?

ir0nw0lf said,

Like the new Pepsi commercial with the party bears coaxing the Coca Cola polar bears, Coke logo plainly visible?

That was a funny commercial because Pepsi is all about summer and Coke is all about Winter.

patented Commercials. laugh my ass choking bread in my throat.

By the way, has America become a trolling nation?

satus said,
patented Commercials. laugh my ass choking bread in my throat.

By the way, has America become a trolling nation?

haha. 'bout time someone else noticed it too

Great, now maybe we can get some decent commercials for Mango that show off the phone for what it is, not making fun of people who choose other phones.

dotf said,
Great, now maybe we can get some decent commercials for Mango that show off the phone for what it is, not making fun of people who choose other phones.

even with mango i do not see wp7 gaining that much marketshare. not saying it's bad but i sorta think of it as webos was. has potential but a failed launch. wp7 just never really took off the way they thought, especially in the US.

smooth3006 said,

even with mango i do not see wp7 gaining that much marketshare. not saying it's bad but i sorta think of it as webos was. has potential but a failed launch. wp7 just never really took off the way they thought, especially in the US.

Clueless troll is clueless. Windows Phone 7 has only been on the market for less than a year now. When the iPhone and Android came on the market, it took them a year just to get around the 2 to 3% market share range. WebOS has been on the market for a year an a half, and has not seen the type of fast-paced development that Windows Phone has, with Mango on the table. There's a much brighter future for Windows Phone than WebOS had, due to development and innovation edges. Give it some time, though.

PlogCF said,

Clueless troll is clueless. Windows Phone 7 has only been on the market for less than a year now. When the iPhone and Android came on the market, it took them a year just to get around the 2 to 3% market share range. WebOS has been on the market for a year an a half, and has not seen the type of fast-paced development that Windows Phone has, with Mango on the table. There's a much brighter future for Windows Phone than WebOS had, due to development and innovation edges. Give it some time, though.

i already know your a fanboy, i wasn't trolling at all. i was giving my opinion, sorry if you do not agree.

just saw the commercial on youtube... all i have to say is if my wife looked that hot i wouldn't be playing on my phone!

well i take that back... id be taking photos of her!

Well, all i know from watching that infernal and unfunny video from 2009 is that the chick has a nice juicy nipple... bravo!

this happens because Cell-R-Derm has the most original and amazing Ads. /s
you know, guys on a phone, or with a wallet or whatever and that object magically falls in an urinal, or a girl trying to be sexy for his boyfriend/husband busy with something else... none has done or thought about something like that never.
Only cell-r-derm, they were the first one and microsoft stole it, because CRD ads are everywhere, and they obviously dont look like home-made videos, so microsoft had to take that original idea for windows phone.

I hate when the little man goes down. But I will definitely laugh my pants off when I see Microsoft crush these dumbasses in court.

PlogCF said,
I have just submitted a patent for breathing. You must all pay me $ now...

Well, this will probably fall in the prior art, but you never know with the USPTO

Winning Guy said,
I don't know if these ads ended up really generating many profits.

It is catchy...REALLLY? and all I think is Windows Phone 7.

Winning Guy said,
They want the profits? lol

I love Windows Phone... but I don't know if these ads ended up really generating many profits.

I agree. The OS and Microsoft's partner's generated the profits...

drazgoosh said,
I just saw an advert on TV with people on it. Is that allowed these days?

I dunno, it might tread on some prior art...

GUYS!

This is just a cheap stunt to have people check out their product. They pay a lawyer a few hundreds bucks to file a lawsuit.

Tons of news agencies pick it up.

Then they drop the suit a few days later.

PROFIT!

Stup0t said,
iwalk
ismile
iblink
ibreathe

I now have copyright for iSleep, iAwake, iEat, iDrive, iLove. I will sue ANYONE for using these!

Stup0t said,
iwalk
ismile
iblink
ibreathe

It will happen people that jobby fella has already sent the application in.

I can definitely not walk or smile but not sure about blinking or taking a breath.

What the hell is wrong with everyone and suing people, from the way I see it Cellrderm should be greateful that a huge corporation is using their idea.

Microsoft Expert said,
What the hell is wrong with everyone and suing people, from the way I see it Cellrderm should be greateful that a huge corporation is using their idea.

Which certainly isn't unique... I've certainly seen comic strips and such portraying the same thing...

if anything shouldn't it be the ad agencies fault if they where copied? Why does the company that bought the ad's have to be in trouble go after the ad creators

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
if anything shouldn't it be the ad agencies fault if they where copied? Why does the company that bought the ad's have to be in trouble go after the ad creators

+1 - They get to go after Microsoft because it was Microsoft's dollars that paid for the ad and Micorsoft products that benefit from those ads. But the blame lies squarely with the Ad Agency.

NPGMBR said,

+1 - They get to go after Microsoft because it was Microsoft's dollars that paid for the ad and Micorsoft products that benefit from those ads. But the blame lies squarely with the Ad Agency.

And they're also after "Microsoft dollars"... Not like the ad agency would be able to pay out as much as Microsoft...

Really!? Next thing you know, facial expression will be copyright and everyone have to pay whenever they smile, cry, etc.

deundead said,
Really!? Next thing you know, facial expression will be copyright and everyone have to pay whenever they smile, cry, etc.

+10

PlogCF said,

+10

Wait, hasn't facebook or google trademarked the "+[integer digit]" thing already? I think you owe someone money, PlogCF!

Tuishimi said,

Wait, hasn't facebook or google trademarked the "+[integer digit]" thing already? I think you owe someone money, PlogCF!

If someone does this I'm going to bring the internet down.

deundead said,
Really!? Next thing you know, facial expression will be copyright and everyone have to pay whenever they smile, cry, etc.

+1

DukeEsquire said,
This is stupid. You can't copyright an idea or concept.

Cheap way to promote their crappy product.

I wouldn't say it was stupid. It looks pretty clear that Microsofts Ad Agency did lift the "idea" for these ads from Cellerderm. Looks like Micorsoft MAY have a good reason to fire Crispin Porter + Bogusky for causing the client i.e. Microsoft, harm.

NPGMBR said,

I wouldn't say it was stupid. It looks pretty clear that Microsofts Ad Agency did lift the "idea" for these ads from Cellerderm. Looks like Micorsoft MAY have a good reason to fire Crispin Porter + Bogusky for causing the client i.e. Microsoft, harm.

It's not clear they "lifted" anything. People using their cell phones in the bathroom at a urinal and women trying to pry their husbands away from their cell phones long enough for a good shag are hardly unique thoughts or concepts. The odds of two people coming up with the same concept addressing a common problem aren't all that outrageous.

NPGMBR said,

I wouldn't say it was stupid. It looks pretty clear that Microsofts Ad Agency did lift the "idea" for these ads from Cellerderm. Looks like Micorsoft MAY have a good reason to fire Crispin Porter + Bogusky for causing the client i.e. Microsoft, harm.


Give me a damn break. The half-joke of a woman seeking her partner's attention while being sidetracked is nothing new at all. This Cellrderm company are just attention seekers. Do you see their video doesn't even have more than 1500 views?! It was posted in 2009! These guys suck big ones.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
It's not clear they "lifted" anything. People using their cell phones in the bathroom at a urinal and women trying to pry their husbands away from their cell phones long enough for a good shag are hardly unique thoughts or concepts. The odds of two people coming up with the same concept addressing a common problem aren't all that outrageous.

Yeah, they really aren't unique ideas. In fact, I've seen comic strips portraying the same things...

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
It's not clear they "lifted" anything. People using their cell phones in the bathroom at a urinal and women trying to pry their husbands away from their cell phones long enough for a good shag are hardly unique thoughts or concepts. The odds of two people coming up with the same concept addressing a common problem aren't all that outrageous.

I'm not saying that these are unique thoughts or concepts. My point is that its up to Crispin Porter + Bogusky to prove that the person(s) that come up with the concept didn't already know of or had already seen the Cellrderm ad. If Cellrderm can prove that they did; then they would have a strong case, but I doubt thats the case. A second point is that a commercial (just like a movie or music video) is a form of art, thus it is protected as such. If a judge sees too many similarities he/she could rule in Cellrderm's favor.


Cellrderm sells a novelty product called Cell-R-Derm that humorously comments on some people's obsession with cell phone use.


Cellrderm states in its lawsuit, "The Microsoft Commercials copy both the sequence of events and the character interplay found in the Cellrderm Commercials. The Microsoft Commercials also copy other copyrightable expression, including but not limited to clothing, gestures, character appearance, camera angles, and other visual elements from the Cellrderm Commercials." It is asking for an injunction to keep the TV ads from being run along with profits gained from the ad and other damages.

Really?
Is this what the American patent system has come to?

PlogCF said,


Really?
Is this what the American patent system has come to?


This doesn't have anything to do with any patent system at all, I doubt the patented their ad they couldn't...
It would be copyrighted though...

Leonick said,

This doesn't have anything to do with any patent system at all, I doubt the patented their ad they couldn't...
It would be copyrighted though...

This IS the same American Patent and trademark system that allowed Apple to trademark "App Store" so anything is possible!!

PlogCF said,
..snip..

What have patents got to do with copyright? They are two entirely different things. Patents relate to protecting technology and technology concepts. Copyright is the law protecting creative works.

TCLN Ryster said,

What have patents got to do with copyright? They are two entirely different things. Patents relate to protecting technology and technology concepts. Copyright is the law protecting creative works.

They don't know. Anything to bash the patent system.

TCLN Ryster said,

What have patents got to do with copyright? They are two entirely different things. Patents relate to protecting technology and technology concepts. Copyright is the law protecting creative works.
Doesn't make a difference. In the end both are used to sue other companies.