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'Force Friday' Has Arrived

Retailers hold one-day merch event for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' movie

(Newser) - On the fourth of every month, it's easy to find random "May the Fourth be with you" platitudes on social media from Star Wars superfans—but today's "Force Friday" may even lure Jabba the Hutt onto the Internet or into a store on Tatooine. Just after... More »

Suck It, Barbie: You're Not Most Popular Anymore

More parents want merchandise from 'Frozen'

(Newser) - Bad news, Barbie: Parents these days kinda prefer Queen Elsa and her animated co-stars from the movie Frozen, CNBC reports. A holiday toys survey finds that one in five parents plan to purchase merchandise from the Disney flick for their girls, while Barbie ranks second (for the first time in... More »

Obama Campaign Sues Site for Selling Obama Gear

Lawsuit says '' has violated trademark

(Newser) - President Obama's re-election campaign is suing a website that hawks T-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons with the campaign's signature "O" logo, claiming the store is infringing on its trademark. In a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Washington, the committee asks the court to stop Demstore.... More »

Angry Birds to Launch Luxury Jewelry Line

$290 for the silver Mighty Eagle Ring

(Newser) - The gigantically popular app Angry Birds is extending its brand into ... luxury jewelry? After hitting 1 billion downloads in May and launching successful lines of toys and clothes, game-maker Rovio is testing its merchandise appeal with a more upscale clientele, reports Forbes . The launch item is a $290 silver ring,... More »

Lin Seeks to Trademark 'Linsanity'

Meanwhile, the Knicks' streak finally ends

(Newser) - "Linsanity," the exciting play of unlikely basketball hero Jeremy Lin, may belong to the world, but "Linsanity" the word, that belongs to Jeremy Lin—or so says Lin. The newest New York Knick star has applied for a trademark on the term with the US Patent and... More »

WikiLeaks' New Venture Is ... T-Shirts

Site is raising money by selling online merchandise

(Newser) - Julian Assange needs cash to pay legal bills, and WikiLeaks needs cash to keep WikiLeaking. Hence, this new website selling WikiLeaks merchandise, notes Mashable . Feast your eyes on duffle bags, umbrellas, and, of course, T-shirts with Assange pictured as Che Guevara. More »

You Can Already Buy a Tim Tebow Broncos Jersey

Hype swells over surprise pick in the draft

(Newser) - It's been less than 24 hours since the Broncos selected Tim Tebow, and we're not even positive what his number will be yet, but you can already buy his jersey for $80 at —and we're willing to bet a lot of Denver fans are going to do... More »

The Business Genius of the Grateful Dead

Biz school studies the power of passion, early social networking

(Newser) - Barry Barnes saw the Grateful Dead 194 times during the band's 30-year-long run, which ended when Jerry Garcia died, in 1995. But his passion hasn't died, and Barnes, now a business school professor, uses the Dead as a case study in what he calls "strategic improvisation" and very early... More »

Lizzie Borden's Hometown Museum Wins Rights to Name

Fall River bed and breakfast keeps accused murderer's brand local

(Newser) - Lizzie Borden would be so proud. Merchandise bearing her name is now the exclusive property of her hometown Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, Mass., the Boston Globe reports. The B&B prevailed before the US Patent and Trademark Office in securing the rights to the infamous spinster’... More »

Judge OKs Jackson Merchandising Deal

(Newser) - A judge has approved a deal that will bring more Michael Jackson merchandise to store shelves. The judge heard from attorneys for Jackson's mother, Katherine, the current administrators of Jackson's estate and a newly appointed attorney for the singer's three young children. The merchandise agreement allows for items such as... More »

Jermaine's Tribute Song to Hit iTunes

'Smile' deal one of many planned by Jackson estate

(Newser) - The iTunes store has struck a deal to sell Jermaine Jackson’s rendition of “Smile,” which he performed at his brother’s June memorial service, the Los Angeles Times reports. A judge granted Michael Jackson’s estate permission to sign away "Smile," a Charlie Chaplin song... More »

April Fools Prank May Pay Off for Star Wars Fans

Tens of thousands try to order a 'Tauntaun sleeping bag'

(Newser) - What started as an April Fools joke may turn into a dream come true—almost literally—for Star Wars fans, LA Weekly reports. The Tauntaun sleeping bag seemed just plausible enough that retailer ThinkGeek was bombarded with orders—and raked over the coals when the truth came out. Now Lucasfilm,... More »

Ozzy Sues Bandmate Over Sabbath Name

(Newser) - Trouble in heavy metal land. Ozzy Osbourne is suing Black Sabbath bandmate Tommy Iommi over rights to the band's name—and its lucrative merchandise, reports Rolling Stone. Ozzy says Iommi illegally took ownership of the name when he toured in the 1990s without the original band members. The prince of... More »

D'oh! Danger Looms Over Simpsons Licensing Deals

With millions at stake, execs try to revitalize interest in show

(Newser) - If Fox executives play their cards right, Bart Simpson may finally be able to tell Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny to eat his shorts. The team behind America’s favorite animated family is in a race to further capitalize on The Simpsons' international popularity through merchandising, USA Today reports. But... More »

Hasbro, Discovery Join to Launch Kids Channel

Toy maker plans to use kids network to promote merchandise

(Newser) - Hasbro and Discovery have struck a deal to revitalize the flagging Discovery Kids Network, the Los Angeles Times reports. Hasbro, manufacturer of Transformers and GI Joe, will buy a 50% stake in Discovery Kids for $300 million. The company plans to emphasize merchandise based on programming on the network, which... More »

Anthony Case Inspires Merchandise Bonanza

(Newser) - The Casey Anthony murder case has inspired a bevy of profiteers hawking everything from “Caylee Sunshine” dolls to “CASEY ANTHONY=DEATH PENALTY” bumper stickers, the Orlando Sentinel reports. “There’s a long history of people being interested in high-profile murder cases and other people trying to make a... More »

Beverly Hills High Aims to Market Its 90210 Image

Clothing, cosmetics may make up school's budget shortfalls

(Newser) - Beverly Hills High School is considering starting lines of clothing and cosmetics in an attempt to capitalize on the glamorous image perpetuated by television’s 90210 series and famous alumni like Angelina Jolie. A smaller population of school-aged children in the neighborhood has sapped the tax base, leaving it with... More »

King Family Wants Cut of Obama-King Souvenir Cash

The dream may be passed down, but not the brand

(Newser) - The family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is demanding a share of the proceeds from the sudden wave of T-shirts, posters, and other merch pairing the civil rights leader with Barack Obama, the AP reports. Obama may have inherited the dream, but they own the brand, says the... More »

Obama is the New Prada

Shirts, buttons, CDs, stickers—vendors can't keep candidate-themed gear on shelves

(Newser) - Sidewalk vendors have been quick to capitalize on the newest fashion trend: anything Obama. Putting the candidate's face or logo on merchandise—no matter if the product is related to the campaign—boosts sales tremendously, sellers tell the Boston Globe. Obama's face on an item "just says it's cool,... More »

France's Latest Craze: A Dance or a Brand?

Radicals mumble about commercialization, but the kids love it

(Newser) - There’s a dance craze gripping France—or is it an unabashed commercial scheme, hawking t-shirts and chewing gum? Either way it’s called Tecktonik, and kids are crazy about it, the Los Angeles Times reports. The mix of hip-hop, techno, and random arm movements is championed by dancers with... More »

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