Intellectual property disputes are often tedious affairs that garner little in the way of media interest, but a motion filed in a federal court in New Jersey seeking summary judgement over trademarks may prove to be an exception to this rule. That is because the trademarks in question relate to the hit AMC television series ‘The Walking Dead.” The creator of the series claims that four individuals are planning to open a theme restaurant in the Garden State based on the popular zombie apocalypse show without his permission.
The show’s creator filed suit in December 2014 after learning that the four entrepreneurs were planning to open a restaurant based on the show and sell items such as T-shirts, ashtrays and coffee mugs. The motion for summary judgement filed on April 1 alleges that the group has submitted eleven separate trademark applications related to the show with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The man behind the popular series claims that the four individuals named in the litigation are no strangers to trademark law. The December complaint claims that the group have also filed applications with the USPTO to register trademarks associated with Donald Trump, the Beastie Boys and the National Hockey League.
Intellectual property can be extremely valuable, and those who infringe on the rights of its holders may face severe financial consequences. However, litigating these cases can be a costly and protracted process, and attorneys who practice in this area of the law may recommend that decisive action be taken at the earliest signs of infringement. This could send an unambiguous message to the individuals in question while serving as a deterrent to other would-be violators.
Source: NJ.com, ‘Walking Dead’ creator sues to stop N.J. zombie-themed restaurant, report says, Anthony Venutolo, April 4, 2016