Thursday, 24 February 2011

Boop Oops a Doop

In a 2-1 decision Wednesday, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that Fleischer Studios Inc., the family of Max Fleischer,  doesn’t have standing to bring a trademark infringement lawsuit against several other companies that license Betty Boop merchandise, including Avela Inc.– because  it was unable to prove the chain of how the rights to the character was transferred over the years. Max Fleischer created Betty Boop in 1930. A decade later he transferred rights to Paramount Pictures. Control over Boop changed hands a few more times in the next 70 years, and it was up to the Fleischer estate to establish a chain of custody that resulted in them reacquiring the character in 1997.  The decision is available online.

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