Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Leeway Media Group, LLC v. Joachim

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

January 30, 2014

LEEWAY MEDIA GROUP, LLC and BRUCE LEE ENTERPRISES, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
LAURENCE JOACHIM, TRANS-NATIONAL FILM CORPORATION, and TELEVENTURES INC., Defendants.

ORDER

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

Presently pending before the Court are: (1) a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction filed by Defendant Laurence Joachim, [dkt. 17]; (2) a Motion to Strike Second Amended Complaint filed by Mr. Joachim, [dkt. 23]; (3) a Verified Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint Nunc Pro Tunc filed by Plaintiffs Leeway Media Group, LLC ("Leeway") and Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC ("BLE"), [dkt. 28]; (4) three Motions to Withdraw Attorney Appearances filed by counsel for Mr. Joachim, [dkts. 34; 35; 37]; and (5) an Application for Entry of Default as to Defendant Televentures Corporation filed by Leeway and BLE, [dkt. 39].

I.

THE COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

A. The Parties

Leeway is a California limited liability production company owned by Shannon Lee, the daughter of actor and martial artist Bruce Lee. [Dkt. 16 at 1, ¶ 1; 3, ¶ 11; 8, ¶ 36.] BLE is a California limited liability company and is the "successor-in-interest and sole rights holder" of "post mortem rights in and to [Mr. Lee's] name, likeness, image, persona, mannerisms, voice, sayings, and signature (the "Lee Right of Publicity")." [ Id. at 1-2, ¶ 2; 7, ¶ 29; 8, ¶ 35.] Mr. Joachim is an individual who resided in New York and California.[1] [ Id. at 2, ¶ 3.] Defendants Trans-National Film Corporation ("Trans-National") and Televentures Inc. ("Televentures") are both New York companies, and Mr. Joachim was a principal of Televentures. [ Id. at 2, ¶¶ 4-5.][2]

B. The Dispute

In 1965, Mr. Lee completed his first Hollywood screen test (the "Screen Test") for Greenway Productions in connection with a television show called "Number One Son, " which ultimately was not made. [ Id. at 3-4, ¶ 15.] Plaintiffs allege that the Screen Test is over eight minutes in length, and "has been used freely in countless productions over the last thirty-five (35) years, and is widely available for view (and reproduction), at no cost...." [ Id. ]

After Mr. Lee's untimely death in 1973, the Lee Right of Publicity transferred to his family, and his family also registered numerous trademarks and copyrights (collectively, the "Lee Intellectual Property"). [ Id. at 6, ¶ 23; 7, ¶¶ 29-31.] Plaintiffs allege that Mr. Lee's family "has continuously and vigorously protected the Lee Intellectual Property from misuse by third parties desiring to trade on the immeasurable goodwill and fame and notoriety as associated with [Mr. Lee] himself and/or the Lee Intellectual Property." [ Id. at 8, ¶ 32.] The Lee Right of Publicity is currently held by BLE. [ Id. at 8, ¶ 35.]

In April 2008, Leeway initiated, organized, produced, marketed, and owned a documentary relating to Mr. Lee's life and titled "I Am Bruce Lee" (the "Documentary"). [ Id. at 8, ¶ 36.] The Documentary was released and aired on Spike TV in early 2012, is approximately 94 minutes in length, and contains approximately 91 seconds of the Screen Test. [ Id. at 8-9, ¶¶ 37-39.] The Screen Test is also included on the DVD of the Documentary as "bonus materials." [ Id. at 9, ¶ 39.]

In July 2012, Mr. Joachim contacted BLE and Leeway claiming to own the copyright in and to the Screen Test. [ Id. at 10, ¶ 42.] Plaintiffs dispute that Mr. Joachim has any copyright in or to the Screen Test. [ Id. at 10, ¶¶ 43-50.]

C. This Litigation

On May 20, 2013, Leeway and BLE filed a Complaint against Mr. Joachim and Trans-National, [dkt. 1], then filed an Amended Complaint on July 25, 2013, [dkt. 8], and finally filed the operative Second Amended Complaint against Mr. Joachim, Trans-National, and Televentures on August 21, 2013, [dkt. 16]. In the Second Amended Complaint, Leeway and BLE assert the following claims relating to the Screen Test: (1) declaration of no valid copyright, [ id. at 13-14, ¶¶ 62-69]; (2) declaration that Mr. Joachim has no standing, [ id. at 14-15, ¶¶ 70-78]; (3) declaration of no copyright infringement, [ id. at 15-16, ¶¶ 79-85]; (4) declaration of no unfair competition, [ id. at 16-17, ¶¶ 86-91]; (5) trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114(1), [ id. at 17-18, ¶¶ 92-96]; (6) unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), [ id. at 18-19, ¶¶ 97-104]; (7) right of publicity infringement under Indiana Code § 32-36-1-1, [ id. at 19-20, ¶¶ 105-112]; (8) right of publicity infringement under California Civil Code § 3344.1, [ id. at 20-21, ¶¶ 113-119]; (9) common law right of publicity, [ id. at 21, ¶¶ ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.