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"Big El Show" Infringe Elvis' Identiy?
Highest Court D. New Jersey
Year Ended 1981
Plaintiffs Estate of Artist(s)
Defendants Theatrical Producer(s)
Other Presley, Elvis
Short Description This is an absurdly lengthy court opinion (53 pages in the official reporter), discussing whether Defendants' presentation of an Elvis-themed variety show, "The Big El Show," which simulated many of Elvis's most famous performances, violated Presley's various rights to market his name, likeness, image, and identity. Defendants' show began operating in 1975, two years before Elvis's death, and continued until the time of this suit. Regarding the right of publicity, the court held that, as a property right, individuals' rights to their publicity survive their death and thus Plaintiffs' action may be maintained. Furthermore, Defendants' show was presented largely to trade on Elvis's likeness, and not for commentary or news reporting, and thus Plaintiff was likely to succeed on the merits. In the trademark field, Defendants' use of images (such as silhouettes) was held infringing, but not his mere use of the "Big El Show" title, and unfair competition under the Lanham Act was not so clear. Regardless, the court granted Plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction; in addition to likely success on publicity grounds, the court held that harm to Plaintiff without one would outweigh potential harm to Defendants with one, and that equities balanced in Plaintiff's favor. Preliminary injunction issued. - LSW

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure Interlocutory Orders Preliminary Injunction
Constitutional Law First Amendment Media Protection & Public Interest
General Equitable Defenses Acquiescence
    Laches
Trademarks & Unfair Competition Federal (Lanham Act) Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts
  State Statute/Common Law Right of Publicity
    Trademark Infringement
    Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts


Opinions Presley's Estate v. Russen
513 F. Supp. 1339
D. New Jersey , April 16, 1981 ( No. 80-0951 )


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Related Searches Parties
Estate of Artist(s) ( Plaintiff )
Presley, Elvis ( Other )
Theatrical Producer(s) ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure / Interlocutory Orders / Preliminary Injunction
Constitutional Law / First Amendment / Media Protection & Public Interest
General / Equitable Defenses / Acquiescence
General / Equitable Defenses / Laches
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / Federal (Lanham Act) / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Right of Publicity
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Trademark Infringement
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts

Courts
D. New Jersey (highest court)


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