Some significant court decisions in which Leopold, Petrich & Smith ("LP&S") (formerly “Youngman, Hungate & Leopold” ("YH&L")) was of record (as of October 2016):
In Local TV, LLC v. Superior Court (Knutsson), 3 Cal.App.5th (2016), LP&S obtained a reversal in the California Court of Appeal, reversing the denial of defendant Local TV, LLC's motion for summary judgment to dismiss misappropriation of name and likeness and unfair business practice claims in connection with the "Kurt the CyberGuy" video segments.
In Brodeur v. Atlas Entertainment, Inc., et al., 248 Cal.App.4th 665 (2016), LP&S obtained a reversal in the California Court of Appeal, reversing the denial of defendants' anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss a defamation claim against the motion picture "American Hustle."
In Rhoads v. Margolis, 2015 WL 311932 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015), LP&S obtained an affirmance and reversal in part eliminating all tort claims against the publication of a biographical book about famous guitarist Randy Rhoads. The trial court had found that the book was not slappable by some of the defendants, but that ruling was unanimously reversed by the California Court of Appeal.
In Sadeghi v. Snell, 2014 WL 7366187 (Cal. App. 2 Dist. 2014), the California Court of Appeal affirmed an Anti-SLAPP victory for a small business owner whose comment, that a real estate developer said he would copy her business if she did not lease space in his development, printed as part of an article in the OC Weekly, was held to be a statement made in a public forum concerning matters of public interest, and the developer could not show a probability on his claims for defamation, interference with prospective economic advantage, and unfair competition.
In Stoddard White, Jr. v. Twentieth Century Fox Corporation, et al., D.C. Case No.: 2:11-cv-01987-SJO-SH, No. 12-55920 (9th Cir. 2014) LP&S obtained a dismissal for the defendants on copyright and fraud claims in this case alleging that the screenwriters of the motion pictures There's Something About Mary and Me, Myself, and Irene appropriated protectible expression from plaintiff's sceenplay. Plaintiff appealed and the Rule 12(b)(6) dismissals were affirmed in an unpublished May 2014 decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.
In Sachin Gadh, et al. v. Adam Spiegel, 2014 WL 1778950 (C.D.Cal. 2014), less than five weeks after the Complaint was filed, LP&S obtained dismissal for writer and director Spike Jonze of a suit alleging that the motion picture HER infringed Plaintiffs’ teleplay for a television pilot called “Belvedere.” The Court found that, as a matter of law, Jonze’s Academy Award-winning original screenplay was not substantially similar to any protected expression in Plaintiffs’ script.
In Critical Care Diagnostics, Inc. v. American Ass'n for Clinical Chemistry, Inc., 2014 WL 634206 (S.D. Cal. 2014), LPS successfully moved under California’s anti-SLAPP Act to strike a complaint by a biomarker company that focuses on cardiovascular diseases which complained that an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal defamed its product. The Court awarded defendant journal its legal fees.
In Sofa Entertainment, Inc. v. Dodger Productions, Inc., 782 F.Supp.2d 898 (C.D. Cal. 2010), aff'd 709 F.3d 1273 (9th Cir. 2013), LP&S, along with co-counsel, obtained summary judgment, based on a finding of fair use, for producer of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement as to the musical's use of a clip from the Ed Sullivan TV show. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment and the award of attorney fees and costs on March 11, 2013.
In M.U.S.E. Picture Productions, et al. v. Weinbach, et al., 2013 WL 820844 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.), LP&S obtained a bench trial determination and subsequent summary judgment ruling, affirmed on appeal, in favor of independent motion picture producers in multi-decade chain-of-title dispute regarding nature and scope of rights to make a motion picture based on the 1952 Jim Thompson novel "The Killer Inside Me."
In Harter, et al. vs. Disney Enterprises, Inc., et al., 2012 WL 4324417 (E.D.Mo. 2012), LP&S obtained summary judgment dismissing copyright infringement claim against two Disney/Key Pix Santa Claus movies, "Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws" and "The Search for Santa Paws."
In Corbello v. DeVito, et al., 832 F.Supp.2d 1231 (D.Nev. 2011); 844 F.Supp.2d 1136 (D.Nev. 2012), LP&S obtained summary judgment for Frankie Valli and the other creators of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement and an accounting based on a theory that defendants became co-copyright owners of a biographical manuscript about former Four Seasons member Tommy DeVito.
In Love v. Associated Newspapers, et al., reported at 611 F.3d 601 (9th Cir. 2010), a federal action brought in the Central District of California by Beach Boy Mike Love against Beach Boy Brian Wilson and others over the promotion in England of four classic Beach Boys songs co-written by Love and Wilson, LP&S obtained summary dismissal and an award of attorneys' fees on behalf of defendant David Leaf, a friend of Wilson's and a documentary film maker who, among other things, produced a documentary on the Beach Boys.
In Bernal v. Paradigm Talent & Literary Agency, et. al., 788 F.Supp.2d 1043 (C.D. Cal. 2010), LP&S obtained summary judgment for “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry and television network ABC in a copyright infringement lawsuit alleging the popular television program infringed on the plaintiff’s screenplay. LP&S also obtained an award of more than $200,000 in attorneys’ fees for defendants Cherry and ABC in this case, with the judge’s fee order noting the firm’s experience and accomplishments in the field of intellectual property.
In Muller v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 794 F.Supp.2d 429 (S.D.N.Y. 2011), aff'd 501 Fed.Appx. 81 (2nd Cir. 2012), LP&S obtained a summary judgment against claims for copyright infringement and breach of an implied in fact contract regarding defendant Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation's 2004 motion picture "Alien v. Predator," based on findings that defendants' creators had no access to plaintiff's script, and that the defendants' movie was neither probatively nor substantially similar to plaintiff's script. The judgment was affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on November 8, 2012.
In West v. Perry, LP&S obtained a defense verdict from a jury in the Eastern District of Texas in defending Lions Gate Entertainment against claims of copyright infringement and state law claims arising from the Tyler Perry film, Diary of A Mad Black Woman. A motion for new trial was denied and the judgment for defendants was affirmed by The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in August, 2010, West v. Perry, 2010 WL 3303752 (5th Cir. 2010).
In Campbell v. Walt Disney Co., 718 F.Supp.2d 1108 (N.D. Cal. 2010), LP&S obtained a dismissal on a FRCP 12(b)(6) motion, with the Court finding that the movie "Cars" was not substantially similar to plaintiff's screenplay.
In Kightlinger v. White, 2009 WL 4022193 (Cal. App. Nov. 23, 2009). LP&S represented defendant writer/director of Paramount Pictures' motion picture Year of the Dog in claim by plaintiff writer for breach of implied contract for the sale of ideas in her script and for breach of confidence. After securing summary judgment on the grounds of lack of evidence to support an implied contract and uncontroverted evidence of independent creation, LP&S argued to win affirmance by the California Court of Appeal.
In Mestre v. Vivendi Universal U.S. Holding Co., 2008 WL 1734161 (9th Cir. 2008), LP&S obtained affirmance of a summary judgment for the defendants screenwriter and distributor of the movie Billy Elliot, against a claim of copyright infringement.
In Lassiter et al. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 238 Fed.Appx. 194 (9th Cir. 2007), LP&S defended the Fox defendants against a claim of copyright infringement regarding the movie Drumline. LP&S obtained a summary judgment and an award of attorneys fees to defendants of $540,000, which were affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. 238 Fed.Appx. 194 (9th Cir. 2007).
In Grosso v. Miramax Film Corp., 2007 WL 2585053 (2007), after a Ninth Circuit panel had held that plaintiff pleaded a state law claim for breach of an implied in fact contract regarding the movie Rounders, which pleading evaded preemption under the Copyright Act, the case was remanded to Los Angeles Superior Court. LP&S obtained a summary judgment for defendants on the ground that no such contract existed. The judgment was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal.
In Welles v. Turner Entertainment Co., 503 F.3d 728 (9th Cir. 2007), after a Ninth Circuit panel had held that plaintiff was entitled to a reversal of a summary judgment regarding the application of a grant of motion picture rights in the movie Citizen Kane to a "new use," i.e., home video, LP&S was retained by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to file an amicus brief in support of a petition for rehearing. The Ninth Circuit amended its prior decision by adding a footnote 3 explaining that the Ninth Circuit was adopting a rule applying neutral principles to the "new-use" analysis, and acknowledging that a grant of rights in unknown future uses does not invariably require a "future technologies clause."
In A Slice of Pie Productions v. Wayans Brothers Entertainment, 487 F.Supp.2d 41 (D. Conn. 2007), LP&S obtained summary judgment for the producers and distributors of the motion picture White Chicks against claims for copyright infringement and breach of implied contract. In a prior reported decision in the same case (392 F.Supp.2d 297 (D. Conn. 2005)), LP&S obtained dismissal of a Lanham Act claim and state law claims for breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, idea misappropriation and conversion.
In Merrill v. Paramount Pictures, 73, U.S.P.Q.2d 1603 (C.D. Cal. 2005), LP&S obtained a summary judgment dismissing a claim for copyright infringement against the movie Crossroads, featuring Britney Spears.
In Gates v. Discovery Communications, Inc., et al., 34 Cal. 4th 679 (2004), LP&S successfully defended the producer and distributor of a reality-based cable television show against claims for defamation and invasion of privacy arising from disclosure of the plaintiff's criminal past. In reversing the trial court's denial of defendants' special motion to strike filed under California's Anti-SLAPP statute, the California Supreme Court ruled that Briscoe v. Reader's Digest Ass'n, Inc., 4 Cal.3d 529 (1971), was no longer good law insofar as it held that civil liability could result from publishing facts in public official records in a criminal proceeding.
In Murray Hill Publications, Inc. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 361 F.3d 312 (6th Cir. 2004), LP&S was retained as appellate counsel and successfully obtained a reversal of a $19 million jury verdict for alleged copyright infringement by the motion picture Jingle All The Way, and entry of judgment for Fox.
In Metcalf v. Bochco, 294 F.3d 1069 (9th Cir. 2002), LP&S successfully defended against a copyright infringement case against a TV series. The summary judgment for defendants was reversed on appeal, the Court of Appeals finding a triable issue of substantial similarity. Upon remand, a jury rendered a verdict for defendants. The verdict was affirmed on appeal. 200 Fed.Appx. 635 (9th Cir. 2006)
In Idema v. DreamWorks, 162 F.Supp.2d 1129 (C.D. Cal. 2001), LP&S successfully defended the motion picture Peacemakers against 8 copyright infringement claims and 39 related state claims. The summary judgment and dismissals on motion were affirmed. 2003 WL 23095763 (9th Cir. 2004).
In re Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc., 254 B.R. 817, 2000 WL1677764 (D. Del. 2000), LP&S represented New Line Productions, the producer of the Blade motion picture, in a bankruptcy proceeding brought against debtor Marvel Entertainment, New Line's assignor. A comic book writer claimed that he had created and owned the copyrights in the Blade characters, and had given Marvel only limited license to publish them in comic book form. The district court held that Marvel owned the characters' copyrights as "for-hire works" because the writer, although an independent contractor, had created the works at Marvel's "instance and expense."
In Three Boys Music Corp. v. Bolton, 212 F.3d 477 (9th Cir. 2000) cert. denied 121 S.Ct. 881, 69 USLW 3318 (2001), the Ninth Circuit affirmed a verdict against Michael Bolton for copyright infringement of plaintiff's song. LP&S filed amicus briefs on behalf of the MPAA and RIAA in the Ninth Circuit and on behalf of the RIAA in support of Bolton's Petition for Writ of Certiorari.
In Self-Realization Fellowship Church v. Ananda Church of Self-Realization, 206 F.3d 1322 (9th Cir. 2000), On behalf of plaintiff Self-Realization Fellowship Church LP&S obtained a partial reversal of a summary judgment for defendant that held that works created by the founder of the plaintiff were not "for-hire" or corporate body works. After deciding a copyright issue of first impression--that both a periodical publisher and the author of contributions to a periodical may renew copyright in the contributions -- the appeals court remanded for a trial the question whether the deceased founder intended to assign his common law rights to the plaintiff Church. Upon remand, a jury found in favor of plaintiff.
In Dolman v. Agee, 157 F.3d 708 (9th Cir. 2000), after a bench trial found defendant liable for the use of copyrighted music embedded in a motion picture whose copyright had expired, LP&S was retained to bring an appeal. The Court of Appeals affirmed on the ground that, although the film was published sufficiently to obtain federal copyright protection, it was not sufficiently published to inject the music into the public domain.
In Endemol Entertainment B.V. v. Twentieth Television, Inc., 48 U.S.P.Q.2d 1524 (C.D. Cal. 1998), LP&S obtained a dismissal of a complaint for breach of an implied contract, on preemption grounds.
In Cochran v. NYP Holdings, Inc., 58 F.Supp.2d 1113 (C.D. Cal. 1998), LP&S was local counsel for the New York Post and one of its writers in a case in which Johnnie Cochran claimed that he was libelled in a Post column discussing his representation of a Haitian immigrant in a brutality case against Brooklyn police officers. The district court granted the newspaper's motion to dismiss, finding that the column was protected opinion.
In Film's of Distinction, Inc. v. Allegro Film Productions, Inc., 12 F.Supp.2d 1068 (C.D. Cal. 1998), LP&S represented a motion picture production company in a trademark and defamation action brought by the owner of the cable television Crime Channel. LP&S obtained dismissal of the defamation and trade libel claims on a motion to dismiss.
In Weygand v. CBS Inc., 43 USPQ2d 1120 (C.D. Cal. 1997), LP&S obtained summary judgment for CBS and the writers and producers of a television movie against a writer's claim that the television movie infringed the copyright in his screenplay. The district court also granted summary judgment against the plaintiff's related breach of confidence claim.
In Southland Sod v. Stover, 108 F.3d 1134 (9th Cir. 1997), LP&S was retained as special appellate counsel and succeeded in obtaining a reversal from the Ninth Circuit of a dismissal by the District Court on summary judgment in an action where two companies, engaged in the business of selling lawn turf and seed products, sued their competitors under federal Lanham Act and state unfair competition laws for false advertising.
In FASA Corp. v. Playmates Toys, Inc., 108 F.3d 140 (7th Cir. 1997), LP&S obtained a reversal of the District Court's order denying Playmates' motion for attorneys' fees following Playmates' successful defense in a bench trial of claims brought by FASA for copyright and trademark infringement.
In Dr. Seuss Enterprises v. Penguin Books USA, Inc., 924 F. Supp. 1559 (S.D.Cal. 1996); 109 F.3d 1394 (9th Cir. 1997), LP&S defended a book publisher and distributor of a humorous but critical account of the O.J. Simpson trial and the court system, entitled Not The Cat In The Hat using the style of the Dr. Seuss' storytelling, featuring O.J. Simpson wearing the cat's fanciful hat. The district court enjoined the distribution of the book for copyright infringement and Lanham Act violations rejecting federal dilution claims. The injunction was affirmed on appeal, rejecting a parody defense.
In Jacobs v. Transocean Entertainment, 99 F.3d 1146 (9th Cir. 1996), the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court's grant of LP&S' motion to dismiss certain of plaintiff's claims (and reversed the District Court's grant as to other claims) in a shareholder derivative action for copyright infringement and trademark violations against the producers and distributors of the movie Brainscan.
In Slatzer v. HarperCollins, 83 F.3d 428 (9th Cir. 1996) (unpublished), the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court's grant of LP&S' motion for summary judgment on behalf of defendants against plaintiff's claim that plaintiff was libeled in a book footnote that dismissed the plaintiff's claim that he was once married to Marilyn Monroe.
In Los Angeles News Service v. Reuters T.V. Intern., Ltd., 942 F. Supp. 1265 (C.D. Cal. 1996), LP&S obtained partial summary judgment against a news organization's copyright infringement claim over videotapes taken during the Los Angeles riots. During the statutory damages trial of the same case, reported at 942 F. Supp. 1275 (C.D. Cal. 1996), the district court found that neither party sustained their burden of proof on the issue of willful versus innocent infringement. The district court refused to allow plaintiff to recover damages under U.S. law for foreign infringements, but the appeals court allowed a limited exception. Upon remand, the district court determined plaintiff could not prove foreign damages.
In DiElsi v. Falk, 916 F.Supp. 985 (C.D. Cal. 1996), LP&S defended Universal Television and various employees of the Columbo television series against a claim that an episode of the series borrowed ideas and other literary material from the script submitted by plaintiff to one of the producers. The case was filed in state court, LP&S removed the case to federal court, and then obtained a partial dismissal of the claims.
In Star Editorial adv. Dangerfield, 7 F.3d 856 (9th Cir. 1993), LP&S defended a newspaper sued by a public figure (Rodney Dangerfield), alleging defamation, who sought to compel disclosure of the identity of a confidential source. The district court held that disclosure could be compelled because the public figure could not prove actual malice without the information, and he had exhausted alternative sources. The decision was affirmed on appeal in Star Editorial, Inc. v. United States, 7 F.3d 856 (9th Cir. 1993). At trial, Dangerfield was award a monetary sum, which was affirmed at 97 F.3d 1458 (9th Cir. 1996).
In Woods v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 920 F. Supp. 62 (S.D.N.Y. 1996), LP&S defended the motion picture studio, producer and director in a copyright infringement case brought by an architect whose theoretical architectural drawing had been reproduced as a set design in the motion picture 12 Monkeys. Although the court stated an intention to issue an injunction, the case was settled before any injunction issued.
In Cleary v. News Corp., 30 F.3d 1255 (9th Cir. 1994), LP&S was local co-counsel representing a defendant that obtained summary judgment and dismissal, affirmed on appeal, in a false advertising, false designation of origin case brought by a former editor of a recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order under the federal Lanham Act.
In Spinello v. Amblin Entertainment, 29 Cal.App.4th 1390 (1994) LP&S obtained a reversal of the trial court's denial of Steven Spielberg's petition for arbitration on grounds of unconscionability.
In Subafilms Ltd. v. MGM-Pathe Communications Co., 24 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir. 1994) LP&S convinced an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit to overrule its 1986 Peter Starr decision holding that a company may infringe a U.S. copyright by entering into a license in the U.S. to authorize the distribution of a film outside the U.S.
In Clorox Co. v. Inland Empire Wholesale Groceries, Inc., 874 F. Supp. 1065 (1994), LP&S defended a bottler of household cleaning products against claims of trademark counterfeiting, trademark infringement and trade dress infringement brought by Clorox, S.C. Johnson and L&F. LP&S moved (unsuccessfully) for summary judgment, however, as a consequence of the court's findings favorable to the defendant, the matter was resolved shortly thereafter to the satisfaction of the defendant. Defendants alleged a wrongful seizure counterclaim which withstood plaintiff's motion to dismiss which contributed to the ability to resolve the matter.
In Fine v. Petty, 974 F.2d 1342 (9th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 113 S.Ct. 1583 (1993), LP&S argued successfully to affirm summary judgment for MCA Records, Inc. against a claim for copyright infringement regarding a Tom Petty composition.
In AMPAS v. Creative House, 944 F.2d 1446 (9th Cir. 1991), LP&S, on behalf of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, obtained reversal of a District Court ruling that the Academy's OSCAR statuette was not protectible by copyright or trademark law.
In Neft v. Vidmark, Inc. ("Neft II"), 923 F.2d 746 (9th Cir. 1991), after obtaining summary judgment for defendants, LP&S obtained an award of fees and costs of $110,000 against plaintiffs and their counsel. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit reversed the award against plaintiffs' counsel and remanded for a determination whether plaintiffs' counsel might be liable on some other basis. The District Court found that he was, and reinstated the award against him, which was affirmed by an unpublished decision in the 9th Circuit.
In Shaw, et al. v. Richard Lindheim, et al., 919 F.2d 1353 (9th Cir. 1990), LP&S sought unsuccessfully to affirm a summary judgment it had obtained on behalf of the creators, producer, distributor and broadcaster of the television series The Equalizer against a claim of copyright infringement on the ground that the plaintiff's and defendants' works were not substantially similar in their respective protectible expression. Dismissal of the Lanham Act claim was affirmed. After a remand and jury verdict for plaintiff on liability, LP&S obtained a judgment for defendants notwithstanding the verdict. 809 F. Supp. 1393 (C.D.Cal. 1992).
In Effects Associates, Inc. v. Cohen (Effects II), 908 F.2d 555 (9th Cir. 1990), cert. denied sub. nom. Danforth v. Cohen, 111 S.Ct. 1003 (1991), LP&S successfully argued to affirm a summary judgment for defendants in a copyright infringement claim.
In Harper House, etc., v. Thomas Nelson, etc., et al., 889 F.2d 197 (9th Cir. 1989), LP&S was retained to represent the defendants in an appeal after trial from an adverse jury award of $6 million upon a finding of copyright infringement and unfair competition with respect to competing time management systems known as "organizers," and was successful in obtaining a reversal in the 9th Circuit of the trademark judgment against the defendants and a remand of the copyright judgment for retrial. Thereafter, LP&S obtained summary judgment on the copyright claim, which the 9th Circuit reversed. After the case was remanded for trial, it was resolved.
In S.O.S., Inc. v. Payday, Inc., 886 F.2d 1081 (9th Cir. 1989), LP&S obtained a partial reversal in copyright claims regarding a computer program.
In Lutz v. De Laurentiis, 211 Cal. App. 3d 1317 (1989), LP&S defended the producers and distributors of the films Amityville II and Amityville 3-D regarding claims against the films' titles. The Court of Appeals reversed, allowing claims to proceed for unfair competition and affirmed the dismissal of the remaining claims.
In Abend v. MCA, Inc.., LP&S obtained a summary judgment in defense of a copyright infringement claim against re-release of the film Rear Window. A divided Ninth Circuit reversed. 863 F.2d 1465 (9th Cir. 1988). The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed in Stewart v. Abend, 495 U.S. 207, 109 L.Ed.2d 184; 110 S.Ct. 1750 (1990), and remanded the matter.
In Anderson v. Stallone, 11 USPQ 2D 1161 (C.D. Calif. 1989), LP&S obtained partial summary judgment on copyright and associated claims against the film Rocky IV, the remaining claims were dismissed on summary judgment motions.
In Olson v. National Broadcasting Co., Inc., 855 F.2d 1446 (9th Cir. 1988), LP&S obtained a jury verdict in favor of the defendant Stephen Cannell Productions and MCA Television on a copyright infringement claim against the television series The A-Team, and thereafter successfully briefed and argued to affirm such judgment.
In Trust Co. Bank v. Putnam Publishing Group, Inc., 5 U.S.P.Q. 2d 1874, 14 M.L.R. 2340, (C.D. Calif. 1988), LP&S defeated a motion for preliminary injunction by the owners of the copyright in Gone With The Wind against the novel The Blue Bicycle.
In Effects Associates, Inc. v. Cohen, et al. ("Effects I"), 817 F.2d 72 (9th Cir. 1987), LP&S was successful in obtaining the affirmance of a dismissal of a copyright infringement action, where the Complaint alleged an oral promise between the parties that may have amounted to an assignment of license for the use of the copyrighted work, on the ground that the issue to be resolved was a question of state contract law.
In Baxter v. MCA Inc., 812 F.2d 421 (9th Cir. 1987), cert. denied sub nom. Williams v. Baxter, 484 U.S. 954 (1987), LP&S sought unsuccessfully to affirm a summary judgment for defendants regarding a claim that the theme music for the motion picture E.T. -- The Extraterrestrial infringed plaintiff's copyright. After remand, defendants prevailed in a jury trial, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed judgment for defendants in an unpublished opinion. 1990 WL 90217 (9th Cir. 1990)
In Jeffrey v. Cannon Films, Inc., 3 U.S.P.Q. 2d 1373 (D.C.Cal. 1987), LP&S obtained partial summary judgment against claims of copyright infringement with respect to the defendant's alleged appropriation of plaintiff's wrestling table, rules and forms, and wrestling phrase "over the top" in connection with defendant's motion picture Over The Top.
In Franklin, et al. v. Cannon Films, Inc., 654 F.Supp. 133 (C.D.Cal. 1987), LP&S obtained a dismissal of an action in which plaintiffs claimed copyright infringement, fraud and breach of contract in connection with the production and distribution of the motion picture Runaway Train on the ground that the issues involved (a) an interpretation of contract, not an examination of works for copyright infringement, and (b) matters of state contract law as to which the federal court was without jurisdiction.
In Apple Corp. Limited v. Leber, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. C 299 149 (1986), LP&S represented the producers of the Beatlemania stage show and film at trial against an action by the Beatles under §§ 50 and 51 of New York Civil Rights Law and for unfair competition. The matter was resolved while on appeal from a judgment at trial in favor of the Beatles.
In McFly, Inc. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 28 U.S.P.Q. 153 (C.D.Cal. 1985), LP&S successfully defended the producer and distributor of the motion picture Back To The Future against an attempt by the owners of a trademark in the name McFly, used in restaurants, to enjoin future distribution of the motion picture.
In Aguilar v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 174 Cal. App. 3d 384 (1985), LP&S successfully argued to affirm summary judgment for defendants regarding claims that motion picture Zoot Suit libeled and violated privacy rights of plaintiff.
In Berkic v. Crichton, 761 F.2d 1289 (9th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 88 L.Ed.2d 69 (1985), YH&L successfully argued to affirm summary judgment for defendants on copyright infringement claims against the motion picture Coma.
In Overman v. Universal City Studios, Inc., No. 84-6009 (9th Cir. 1985), YH&L successfully argued to affirm summary judgment granted by the district court (reported in 605 F. Supp. 350 (C.D.Cal. 1984)) for defendants on a copyright infringement claim against the motion picture Bustin' Loose.
In Houts v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 603 F.Supp. 26 (C.D.Cal. 1984), LP&S obtained a partial summary judgment against the author of a book about a New York coroner who sued the producers of the television series Quincy for copyright infringement.
In Meta-film Associates, Inc. v. MCA Inc., 586 F.Supp. 1346 (C.D.Cal. 1984), YH&L represented the writers of the script and the producers for the motion picture Animal House in obtaining a partial summary judgment exonerating the initial script from copyright infringement claim.
In Berkic v. Moss (previously reported in 159 Cal. App. 3d 26, 205 Cal. Rptr. 674 (1984) (opinion withdrawn, though affirmed by California Supreme Court), YH&L successfully argued to affirm summary judgment for defendants on claims for alleged misappropriation of plaintiff's screenplay in connection with motion picture Coma.
In Klekas v. EMI Films, Inc., 150 Cal. App. 3d 1102 (1984), YH&L successfully argued to affirm summary judgment for defendants regarding plagiarism and breach of implied-in-fact contract claims against the motion picture The Deer Hunter.
In Litchfield v. Spielberg, 736 F.2d 1352 (9th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 84 L.Ed.2d 817 (1985), YH&L successfully argued to affirm summary judgment for defendants regarding copyright infringement and unfair competition claims against the motion picture E.T. -- The Extraterrestrial.
In Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. v. MCA Inc., 715 F.2d 1327 (9th Cir. 1983), YH&L represented defendant series producers and distributors who had obtained a dismissal on a motion for summary judgment regarding claim of copyright infringement by owners of motion picture Star Wars against television series Battlestar: Galactica. The Court of Appeals reversed, finding a triable issue of substantial similarity of protected expression.
In Valentine v. CBS, Inc., 698 F.2d 430 (11th Cir. 1983), YH&L obtained affirmance of summary judgment for defendants Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy on claim that lyrics of song defamed and invaded privacy of plaintiff.
In Cher v. Forum International, Ltd., 692 F.2d 634 (9th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 462 U.S. 1120 (1983), YH&L defended Penthouse regarding the alleged violation of "publicity right" and Lanham Act by reason of unauthorized use of name, and likeness in a magazine interview and subscription ads.
In Columbia Pictures v. Embassy Pictures, 8 Med.L.Rptr. 1948 (C.D.Cal. 1982), YH&L successfully opposed the attempt by the owners of the motion picture Blue Lagoon to enjoin exhibition and advertising of the motion picture Paradise on claims of copyright infringement and unfair competition.
In McGuiness v. Motor Trend Magazine, 129 Cal. App. 3d 59 (1982), YH&L successfully argued to affirm dismissal of a libel action against a magazine on statute of limitations grounds.
In Mann v. Columbia Pictures, Inc., 128 Cal. App. 3d 628 (1982), YH&L successfully argued to affirm judgment notwithstanding the jury verdict after trial regarding claim that defendants' motion picture Shampoo breached an implied-in-fact contract.
In Miller v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 650 F.2d 1365 (5th Cir. 1981), YH&L successfully argued for reversal of judgment against defendants on jury verdict holding that the television motion picture The Longest Night infringed plaintiff's copyright.
In Miller v. CBS, 6 Med.L.Rptr. 1859 (C.D.Cal. 1980), YH&L obtained a summary judgment for defendants against the claim that the defendants' television series Kaz infringed the copyrighted work of plaintiff concerning an ex-convict in the practice of law.
In Kramer Motors, Inc. v. British Leyland, Ltd., 628 F.2d 1175 (9th Cir. 1980), LP&S (then YH&L) defended a manufacturer of Jaguar and other automobiles sued by a distributor on antitrust claims. A dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction was affirmed.
In Followay Productions, Inc. v. Maurer, 603 F.2d 72 (9th Cir. 1979), YH&L successfully briefed and appeared for Universal City Studios, Inc. as amicus curiae to obtain affirmance of order dismissing plaintiff's copyright infringement claim against the motion picture The Sting.
In Ferguson v. National Broadcasting Co., 584 F.2d 111 (5th Cir. 1978), YH&L successfully argued for affirmance of summary judgment for defendants regarding claim that song infringed plaintiff's copyright.
In Goldblum v. National Broadcasting Corp., 584 F.2d 904 (9th Cir. 1978), YH&L represented Time-Life and was successful in obtaining emergency orders from appellate court to quash orders of district court requiring television network to deliver a print of a film for inspection by the district court in violation of First Amendment principles. (YH&L's participation was reported at 4 Media Law Reporter 1718.)