Inhale, Inc., got a copyright certificate from the U.S. Copyright Office for a hookah that featured a skull-and-crossbones design.

A month later, Inhale sued Starbuzz Tobacco for infringing the copyright.

But Starbuzz's hookah didn't include the osseous symbol that appears often on pirates' Jolly Rogers.

The lack of bony stuff didn't matter, Inhale puffed, due to the distinctive shape of its hookah's water bowl.

The Ninth Circuit said hah! "The shape of a container is not independent of the container’s utilitarian function—to hold the contents within its shape—because the shape accomplishes the function." Inhale, Inc. v. Starbuzz Tobacco, Inc., No. 12-56331 (9th Cir. Jan. 9, 2014).

Bonus:    Inhale calls its four-hose hookah "Octopus".