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gov.uscourts.cacd.474962.149.0

gov.uscourts.cacd.474962.149.0

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Published by eriqgardner

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Published by: eriqgardner on Nov 29, 2011
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LINKS: 52, 55, 58UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT, LLC,Plaintiff,v.B.B. DAKOTA, INC. et al.,Defendants.AND RELATED COUNTERCLAIM)
 
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Case No. CV 10-04328 GAF (RZx)
MEMORANDUM & ORDER REGARDINGMOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BYPLAINTIFF SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT,LLC AND DEFENDANT B.B. DAKOTA, INC.
I.INTRODUCTION
Between 2006 and 2008, Defendant B.B. Dakota, Inc. (“BB”), a women’sclothing manufacturer, marketed a women’s cargo jacket that it named the “Leigh” jacket. After it was discontinued in 2008, it was given a new lease on its commerciallife when it was worn by the Bella Swan character in “Twilight,” which was released inlate 2008. According to Plaintiff Summit Entertainment, LLC (“Summit”), whichproduced and distributed the movie, BB renewed production of the jacket and initiated amarketing blitz that misappropriated Summit’s trademarks and copyrighted imagery.Summit brings this lawsuit to preclude these violations and to recover damages for
Case 2:10-cv-04328-GAF -RZ Document 149 Filed 11/21/11 Page 1 of 39 Page ID#:8347
 
123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282trademark and copyright infringement. BB concedes that it used the intellectualproperty at issue, but contends that a cursory e-mail exchange between its outside publicrelations contractor and Summit's manager of national publicity created a licensebetween the parties and constituted consent to BB’s use of Summit’s marks andcopyrights. BB also raises a number of other legal defenses to Plaintiff's claims.The parties have submitted cross-motions for summary judgment. Having readand considered the pleadings and supporting evidence, and having heard argument of the parties, the Court
GRANTS in part
and
DENIES in part
Summit’s motion forsummary judgment on liability;
GRANTS
Summit’s motion for summary judgment onBB’s counter-claims; and
DENIES
BB’s motion for summary judgment on Summit’strademark dilution claim. The Court concludes that the undisputed facts demonstratethat Summit has established its trademark and copyright infringement claims as a matterof law and that it did not infringe on BB’s trade dress rights. However, the Courtconcludes that genuine issues of material fact exist as to Summit’s claim for trademark dilution. The Court explains its reasoning in greater detail below.
II.BACKGROUNDA.
 
F
ACTS
Despite voluminous submissions by the parties, the facts are relativelystraightforward and largely undisputed. Summit is the producer and distributor of the“Twilight” series of films. (Docket No. 80, Defendant’s Statement of Genuine DisputedFacts and Statement of Disputed Facts in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for SummaryJudgment on Liability (“SUF”) ¶¶ 1-2.) The first film, “Twilight,” was released inNovember 2008; “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” in November 2009; and “TheTwilight Saga: Eclipse” in June 2010. (Id. ¶¶ 3-4.) Together, the films have generatedmore than $1 billion in gross revenues. (Id. ¶ 133.)Summit also owns various intellectual property rights related to the films, thelicensing of which has grossed an additional $63 million. (Id. ¶ 15.) Specifically,
Case 2:10-cv-04328-GAF -RZ Document 149 Filed 11/21/11 Page 2 of 39 Page ID#:8348
 
123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627283Summit is the owner of the trademark “TWILIGHT” in both block letters and in adistinctive font, as well as registrations and pending federal trademark applications forthe Twilight marks on a number of goods, including clothing. (Id. ¶¶ 5, 7.) Summit hasused the Twilight marks in the sale of a variety of goods and services. (Id. ¶ 6.)Summit also owns a registration of the “BELLA’S CHARM BRACELET” mark forbracelets, various applications for the “BELLA TWILIGHT” mark for a variety of goods, and has used the trademark “Bella” in conjunction with a number of goods andservices related to the film. (Id. ¶¶ 8-9.) Finally, Summit owns copyrights in allpublicity, promotional, unit, and special shoot photography and artwork related to thefilms, including in the “Bella Trading Card image,” which is the subject of its copyrightinfringement claim. (Id. ¶¶ 10-12.) Summit first sold clothing bearing the Twilightmark, including jackets, in May of 2008. (Id. ¶¶ 14, 16.)Defendant BB is in the business of manufacturing women’s clothing. (Id. ¶ 18.)BB sells clothes directly to consumers through its website, as well as through online andbrick and mortar retailers. (Id. ¶ 19.) In 2006, BB began manufacturing a women’scargo jacket it originally named the “Leigh” jacket (“the Jacket”) (Id. ¶ 23), which itsubsequently discontinued in 2008. (Id. ¶ 24.) The Jacket was then worn by the “BellaSwan” character in the “Twilight” film. (Id. ¶ 25.) In March 2009, EntertainmentWeekly (“EW”) published in its magazine a movie still in which “Bella” is wearing theJacket (“the EW Image”), along with a photograph of the Jacket itself and a note that itwas made by BB Dakota. (Id. ¶ 25.)Shortly thereafter, BB decided to begin manufacturing the Jacket again, re-naming it the “Twilight jacket.” (Id. ¶ 26.) In March 2009, BB’s outside publicrelations contractor, Erika Klein, contacted EW to request permission to republish theEW image on BB’s website, and was told by EW’s representative that BB would needpermission from Summit to do so. (Id. ¶¶ 30-32.) Klein then e-mailed Amanda Boury,Summit’s manager of national publicity, and requested permission to re-publish the EWimage, a link to which she included in the e-mail. (Id. ¶ 37.) The parties do not dispute
Case 2:10-cv-04328-GAF -RZ Document 149 Filed 11/21/11 Page 3 of 39 Page ID#:8349

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