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The most publicized "intellectual property" case in recent months has been mounted by Pets.com against a rubber puppet used on the Conan O'Brien show in a recurring skit.

Pets.com sued Robert Smigel, creator and voice of "Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog," to the tune of $20 million for defaming their "spokespuppet."

The irony is, Triumph is over three years old (in dog years that's the equivalent of 21). Pets.com introduced their sockpuppet only a year ago in August 1999.

Providing further evidence that Pets.com's puppet dog is a copycat is European ad sensation, Flat Eric, whose success proved that spokespuppets were a viable execution.

For a better grasp of this trend, read "Attack of the Puppet People."

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