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Maybe the duck accent is different in San Francisco?

Trademarks are worth fighting for, at least that’s what Ride the Ducks thinks. Ride the Ducks has filed suit in San Francisco to stop a competitor from using noisemakers that resemble “Wacky Quackers,” a plastic kazoo originated by Ride the Ducks in Branson.

You can read a tongue-in-cheek account of the real duck-to-duck litigation in the legal humor blog Lowering the Bar.

Ride the Ducks claims that Bay Quackers is using devices similar to Ride the Ducks’ Wacky Quackers, allowing Bay Quackers passengers to make duck noises identical to the noises that Ride the Ducks claims to have trademarked, confusing consumers with their noisemakers, thereby undermining the value of the Wacky Quackers trademark. Bay Quackers should stop quacking and give their quack profits to Ride the Ducks, according to the complaint.

Lowering the Bar’s account also takes a swipe at Branson (“The company started in Branson, Missouri, the source of so much that it evil in modern American life, though has since expanded.”). The New York Times stuck to the facts in its coverage of the dispute.

Competition in the duck tour business is apparently intense, according to another legal blogger Ryan Gile who has been following the industry’s trademark battles. In Boston, Boston Duck Tours and Super Duck Tours battled over the right to use the term “duck tour,” which the court found to be generic and not protected by trademark. In his account of the Ride the Ducks v. Bay Quackers suit, Mr. Gile includes a link to a YouTube video.


About Harry Styron

I'm a lawyer and mediator who lives in Branson, Missouri, whose professional interests involve real estate, nonprofits, and local government. As of 2022, I'm shrinking my legal practice so that I have more time to mediate real estate disputes. I'm happy to mediate using video platforms like Zoom and WebEx, or in person anywhere in Missouri.

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