Paris Hilton wins Hallmark case

Card company used socialite's picture, phrase

SAN FRANCISCO -- An appeals court has ruled that Paris Hilton can continuing pursuing a lawsuit against Hallmark Cards Inc. over the use of her picture and catch phrase "That's hot" on a greeting card.

Hilton sued the company in 2007 after it began selling without her permission birthday cards of a cartoon of a waitress serving a plate of food to a patron. A photo of Hilton's face was pasted on the cartoon's body.

Hilton alleges that the card ripped off her appearance as a waitress in an episode of her reality television show "The Simple Life."

The 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a lower court's ruling allowing the bulk of Hilton's lawsuit, including allegations that Hallmark infringed her trademarked catch phrase.

Hallmark has defended the card as parody, which is normally protected under fair-use law.