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Copyfight
June 28, 2004
Mattel Spanked for Bringing Objectively Meritless Suit Against ArtistEmail This EntryPrint This Entry
Posted by Elizabeth Rader

From the Trademark Blog via Donna: U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew showed some backbone in Mattel v. Walking Mountain Productions, awarding the defendant $1,584,089 in attorney's fees and $241,797.09 in costs expended to defend Mattel's suit for copyright infringement (Barbie infringement, to be specific) on grounds of fair use and nominative use. The court found that Mattel's copyright claims were objectively unreasonable and Mattel's attorneys should have known better. As for motivation, "it appears Plaintiff forced Defendant into costly litigation to discourage him from using Barbie's image in his artwork." This is a just result, and I'm looking forward to citing this opinion, but how many artists accused of infringement by a large corporation can afford to incur close to $2 million in attorneys' fees to defend their rights, even if they have a chance of getting it back at the end of the suit?


Category: IP Abuse

COMMENTS
Seth Finkelstein on June 29, 2004 02:10 AM writes...

"Fair Use is the right to hire a lawyer" - Lessig

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TrackBack URL: http://www.corante.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/3299
From Copyfight comes word that Mattel has lost its trademark case against Thomas Forsythe, an artist who used Barbie dolls in a series of photos. The Ninth circuit court called one claim "completely without merit" and noted it "would lead to absurd ... [Read More]

Tracked on June 29, 2004 10:08 AM




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