Paris Hilton, Hallmark cool on "hot" lawsuit

Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:28pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A simmering lawsuit between Paris Hilton and Hallmark greeting cards cooled off on Tuesday when the two settled their dispute over the celebrity's image and catch phrase, "that's hot."

Hilton, who licenses her name and image to promote apparel, cosmetics and other products around the world, sued Hallmark Cards Inc three years ago for misusing the phrase and an image of her on their card.

The actress received a trademark for "that's hot" in 2007 after it became part of pop culture jargon when she was starring in reality TV show "The Simple Life," which followed her and fellow wealthy celebrity Nicole Richie as they lived in the homes of everyday people.

Hallmark had argued that the card transformed Hilton's image, as well as the phrase, into a cartoon and as a result fell outside legal protections afforded by trademarks. Their argument was rejected by an appeals court last year, eventually leading to Tuesday's settlement.

A representative for Hilton confirmed the settlement, but declined further comment. A Hallmark spokeswoman said terms of the deal were confidential, but that the parties had reached "a mutually beneficial resolution."

The settlement marks a bit of good news for Hilton, who earlier this month pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in Las Vegas and was barred from entering Japan due to the drug conviction.

(Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Jill Serjeant)