Why H&R Block thinks it owns ‘My people’

Tax preparation firm H&R Block is suing American Express over a recent television commercial featuring talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and singer Beyonce Knowles.

H&R Block argues that its “My People” campaign has infringed its trade marks and fallen foul of US unfair competition laws.

The H&R Block ads feature the firm’s clients saying they don’t have to worry about their taxes because they have “people” to handle them, as well as a number of other everyday tasks. In the disputed American Express ad, DeGeneres searches for her “people” after Knowles encourages her to “have your people call my people”.

H&R Block claims that audiences “identify the phrase ‘I got people’ with H&R Block”.

Huh? I don’t think H&R Block has a monopoly over the use of “my people” to describe employees. Doesn’t look like an infringement to me.


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