Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tattoo Settlement

ST. LOUIS. It's always bitter sweet when a case settles. On the one hand, it's a good thing that costly, lengthy and probably hugely draining litigation has been avoided. However, on the other hand, we lawyers are robbed of what could have been a valuable legal precedent. And often it's precisely those cases capable of clarifying a previously unsettled area of law that are settled out of court.

We had predicted that this was likely to happen in tattoo artist Whitmill's claim against Warner Bros. over the copy of his Tyson tattoo featured in the film The Hangover II. And indeed a few days after the parties met with a mediator as Judge Perry ordered them to, a settlement had been reached. We'll never know what the outcome would have been (at the time I argued that Whitmill had a pretty strong case),  "Judge Perry made it clear in her comments to the lawyers [when she rejected plaintiff injunctive relief] that she was sympathetic to Mr. Whitmill's argument, noting that he had a “strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits for copyright infringement” and that most of the arguments put forward by Warner Brothers were “just silly.”" No comments as to the terms of the settlement of course.

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