IPC recently obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of client Walter Williams of Dreamsite Productions, the creator and owner of the fictional character Mr. Bill in a recently filed federal lawsuit. The lawsuit, led by IPC attorney Richard Sahuc, asserted claims for copyright and trademark infringement against The Golf Channel and its parent, NBC Universal, based upon an unauthorized appearance made by Mr. Bill in an instructional video produced by The Golf Channel in which Mr. Bill’s head predictably doubled as a golf ball.
We're not the only ones who recognized the significance of the lawsuit. Mr. Bill's plight made local news in Walter William's hometown of New Orleans on WDSU, as well as national news on MSN.com.
Intellectual property rights surrounding fictional characters can be complex. IPC has significant experience with intellectual property rights pertaining to fictional characters, having handled litigation involving Mr. Bill, the famous literary and film hero Zorro, and others. If you have questions about intellectual property rights involving fictional characters our professionals can help. Contact us at (504) 322-7166.
This past summer, a jury decided that Katy Perry’s chart-topping song, “Dark Horse,” had infringed upon the copyright of a rap track titled, “Joyful Noise,” a song that had been previously released by rapper, Flame. Mark Melasky, legal consultant with IPC, recently led a CLE workshop for the Solo and Small Firm Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association on the subject, “The Dark Horse of Copyright Infringement: Did the Court Get it Right with Katy Perry’s Lawsuit?”
Melasky co-presented with Abid Hussain, attorney at Hussain Law LLC and adjunct professor of digital music production at University of New Orleans. After the “Blurred Lines” ruling in favor of Marvin Gaye’s estate, the ruling in the Katy Perry case shows the ongoing trend of relaxing a plaintiff’s burden for proving originality in infringement cases. If you have an issue related to copyright infringement, contact our legal professionals.