Remember Windows 7 ads depicting smartphone addicts who can't put down their gadgets long enough to get busy in the bedroom and the bathroom? There's the silver-haired executive type who ignores his camisole-clad wife and the guy who drops his sleek phone in a urinal (and then awkwardly picks it up again). Well, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based novelty company claims they were stolen.
Microsoft and its ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, are being sued for copyright infringement by Cellrderm, a gag gift company that makes a novelty "cell phone abuse" kit, Adweek reports.
In the lawsuit, Cellrderm said it sent a cease and desist letter to Microsoft and its ad agency in January 2011. The company seeking an injunction to prevent further distribution of the ads, as well as any profits Microsoft made and damages for infringing its copyright.
Cellrderm claims Microsoft and Crispin infringed on its copyrighted creative content in a series of 2010 Windows Phone 7 ads. The ads in question are from Microsoft's Windows Phone launch -- one features a lingerie-clad woman competing with her husband's cell phone for attention, while the second shows a man talking on his phone in the bathroom, dropping his cell phone into a urinal and picking it back up again.
The WP ads were part of a larger series designed to point out how absorbed society has become by cell phones, and that that Microsoft had developed a phone to "save you from your phone."
Cellrderm produced two similar ads for YouTube back in 2009. In the lawsuit, Cellrderm claims that the WP7 ads incorporated "substantial creative content" from its commercials, including "clothing, gestures, character appearance, camera angles, and other visual elements."