Here is a ridiculous story for you. Ray Romano is scheduled to appear on NBC's Parenthood as Hank Rizzoli, an unhappy photographer. But apparently this has caused some conflict, as Rizzoli Publications has traded letters with NBCUniversal, saying that the name infringes upon its trademark of the name "Rizzoli."
Now, does Rizzoli Publications inform every child born in America with the name Rizzoli that it is breaking the law? Of course not - so why should a character name be any different? Rizzoli Publications specializes in coffee table books on art, architecture, interior design and photography. So apparently America will see the show and have negative thoughts on Rizzoli Publications. What? I would almost argue that NBC should just change the name, but then they will be hit every time anyone has a problem with any name on their programs.
NBC has had problems with names before. Michael Constanza sued college friend Jerry Seinfeld for invading his privacy with the creation of George Costanza. The lawsuit was unsuccessful.
One of Rizzoli's letters read that, "In your show, your character, Hank Rizzoli, owns a business 'Rizzoli Photography'. Given the nature of Hank Rizzoli's business, photography, the public could be easily confused into believing that the goods and services in your TV show are our Clients' goods and services. Your show gets the benefit of our Clients' Marks which are known to designate goods and services which are of the highest quality. Meanwhile our Clients face the danger of their Marks being diluted through association with your characters."
Give me a break.