In a trademark infringement complaint filed on Monday, Liberty Tax Service sued the makers of the TV show “Better Caul Saul” for depicting an allegedly similar business, “Sweet Liberty Tax Services,” as essentially a criminal enterprise:
In Episode 2, the eponymous, Saul Goodman (aka Jimmy McGill), goes to “Sweet Liberty Tax Services,” which is operated by a convicted felon and his wife, the Kettlemans. The show depicts “Sweet Liberty Tax Services” as an actual Liberty Tax location by copying Liberty Tax’s registered trademarks and Statue of Liberty-themed trade dress. At “Sweet Liberty Tax Service,” which is housed in a trailer in the New Mexico desert, there is an inflatable Statue of Liberty outside, in addition to the office itself, which is a moniker of the American Flag, and signage, “Sweet Liberty Tax Service.”
On the inside, there is a Statue of Liberty mural on the wall, along with numerous Lady Liberty’s throughout the location. As fans of the series know, the Kettlemans are not running a legitimate tax preparation business, but instead, are fraudulently stealing customer refunds . . . .
The complaint included images from the show and images of actual Liberty Tax locations (such as the examples below) in support of its allegations that the fictional business could be confused as a depiction of the real one.
The case has been assigned to Judge Gardephe.