George Clooney, Julia Roberts Sue for Using Their Names
George Clooney and Julia Roberts have reunited to sue the pants off of two electronics companies. Sorry fans, no "Ocean's Thirteen" sequel here. Just two Hollywood stars looking to protect their intellectual property rights.
Clooney and Roberts (suing under her real name, Julia Moder) filed suit against Beyond Audio, Inc. and Digital Projection, Inc. Apparently, both companies got the idea to use the stars' names and images to promote their high-end projectors and entertainment systems, according to the complaint. Beyond Audio does business out of Canada and Digital Projection operates out of Georgia.
The duo we'll combine to call Robney (because Clooberts sounds like a bad kid's TV show character) have alleged four causes of actions against the companies. But do any of them hold water?
Like most lawsuits, the answer is maybe. That is until a judge or jury gives their final say. The stars' complaint alleges privacy and publicity right violations, negligent misuse, and trademark infringement.
Of the allegations, trademark infringement seems the most damning, if true. The actors' accuse defendants of "prominently [using] large photographs" of the stars in their marketing without permission. The ads allegedly ran in numerous magazines over the past several months.
Trademark infringement hinges on whether a reasonable person would be misled into thinking a product was something else. Proving "confusing similarity" is key.
In Roberts and Clooney's case, it's whether the public would be confused by the defendants' ads and think the actors endorsed the products. While the complaint doesn't point to any specific advertisements, if defendants' actually used the stars' images, there could be trademark infringement.
George Clooney and Julia Roberts have sued together, and are both being represented by the same attorneys.
Neither defendant has commented on the lawsuit, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
May 7, 2012 Editor's Note: This post has been changed to correctly reflect that the plaintiffs in this suit are in fact both represented by the same firm of attorneys, and do not have separate representation as first reported.
- Clooney, Roberts Sue Electronics Companies (New York Daily News)
- George Clooney Arrested During Sudan Protest in DC (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Latest Julia Roberts Headlines (FindLaw's Legal Pulse)
- Trademark Law (FindLaw)
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