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Thursday, 4 June 2015

USA: Toyota Settles BB King Guitar Case

American University Intellectual Property Brief reports how Toyota Motor Sales USA had reached an out-of-court settlement with the author of a book the story of which it had adopted without permission in a TV advert. The books author, Eric Dahl, had alleged that the advertisement infringed his copyright by taking the story of someone finding a guitar associated with the famous (since deceased) blues guitarist BB King and returning it to him - with minor variations (the sex of the protagonist, where the guitar was found). After arguing in court that they had taken nothing more than unprotectable facts so there could be no infringement of Mr Dahl's copyright, the parties reached a confidential settlement the following day (24 April). Perhaps the costs were disproportionate to the value of the claim, or perhaps the manufacturer sensed a PR disaster in the making (courtesy of its advertising agency and co-defendant, Saatchi & Saatchi North America). Mr King died on 14 May, and had the case still been going on then there might have been a huge amount of negative PR.

'via Blog this'

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