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Puzo-Paramount Answer & Counterclaim

Puzo-Paramount Answer & Counterclaim

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Published by SharonWaxman

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Published by: SharonWaxman on Mar 13, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/24/2012

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Case1:12-cv-01268-AJNDocument4Filed03/12/12Page1of8
UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTSOUTHERNDISTRICTOFNEWYORK
------------------------------------X
CivilActionNo.12CIV-1268(AJN)
PARAMOUNTPICTURESCORPORATION,Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONYPUZO,ASEXECUTOROFTHEESTATEOFMARIOPUZO,Defendant.
------------------------------------
ANSWERANDCOUNTERCLAIMDefendant,AnthonyPuzo,asExecutoroftheEstateofMarioPuzo("Defendant")answerstheComplaintdatedasofFebruary17,2012(the"Complaint")asfollows:1.Defendantdeniestheallegationsofparagraph1andallegesthatParamountPicturesCorporation("Paramount")seeksbythisactiontodisregarditscontractualpromisestoMarioPuzo.2.Defendantdeniestheallegationsofparagraph2,exceptthatMarioPuzodidenterintoanagreementwithParamountin1969,preparedbyParamountonParamount'sprintedform,andthat,inexchangeforaminimalpayment,thisagreementgrantedParamountcertainrightsin"TheGodfather,"butexpresslydeletedandexcludedfromthegrantedrightstheright"topublishsaidworkandloranyversionoradaptations
 
Case1:12-cv-01268-AJNDocument4Filed
03/12/12
Page2of8
thereof,oranypartorpartsthereof,andtovendcopiesthereof."NotbeinggrantedtoParamount,suchexcludedrightswerereservedintheauthor,MarioPuzo,includingtherighttopublishabookthatincludescharactersfrom"TheGodfather"innewanddifferentsituations.Defendantallegesthatthisdeletionandreservationofsuchbookpublishingrightsinthe1969AgreementwaswellknowntoParamountwhen
it
falselypleadedthesupposedcontentofthatagreement.3.Answeringparagraph3,defendantdeniesthatParamountacquiredtherightsitclaimsanddeniesthat"Godfather3"washighlyacclaimed.4.Answeringparagraph4,defendantdeniesthat,atthetimealleged,thePuzoEstateexpressedinterestinpublishingmorethanonesequelnovelto"TheGodfather."5.Answeringparagraph5,defendantdeniesthatParamount'smotivationforthe2002memorandumwasasallegedorthatParamounthasfullyorcorrectlycharacterizedthecontentofthatmemorandum.DefendantallegesthatParamount'sself-servingmotivationwastocoerceMarioPuzoschildrenintocedingtoParamountthemotionpicturerightsinthefirstsequelnovelwithoutpayment.6.Defendantdeniestheallegationsofparagraph6,exceptthatitdidpublish"TheGodfather'sRevenge."DefendantallegesthatParamountmadenoobjectiontothepublicationofthatsequelnovel.7.Answeringparagraph7,defendantdeniesthatithasonly"now"informedParamountthatitintendedtopublishanother"Godfather"sequelandallegesthat,during2010and
2011,
itrepeatedlyinformedParamountinwritingofitsintentiontoenterintoanagreementwithabookpublishingcompanyforthepublicationofanothersequel
-2-
 
Case1:12-cv-01268-AJNDocument4Filed03/12/12Page3of8
novel.CopiesofthesenotificationstoParamountareattachedasExhibits"A"and"B"heretoandincorporatedbyreferenceherein.Untillatein2011,afterthepublishingcontracthadbeensigned,Paramountmadenoobjectiontotheintendedpublicationorthemakingofapublishingcontract.8.Defendantdeniestheallegationsofparagraph8andallegesthatParamounthasagainattemptedtocoercethechildrenofMarioPuzointocedingvaluablerightstoParamountwithoutcompensationandtoforcedefendanttocontractwithrespecttoGodfatherbooksonlywithParamount'ssistercorporation,amajorbookpublishingcompany.9.Answeringparagraph9,defendantdeniesthevalidityofParamount'strademarksandallegesthatsuchtrademarkscannotbeusedtoprecludetheiruseofbookstheEstateisentitledtopublishandthatregistrationofsuchmarksshouldbecancelled.10.Answeringparagraph10,defendantallegesthatthePuzoEstate,representingthechildrenofMarioPuzo,needsnopermissionfromParamounttousethetitleoftheirfather'snovelortopublishasequelnovelortousewhatParamountclaimsare"theGodfatherworks."11.Answeringparagraph14,defendantdeniesthatithascommittedorhasannouncedplanstocommitanyinfringingactswhatsoever.12.Answeringparagraph16,defendantincorporatesandrepleadsitsresponsetotheparagraphsincorporatedbyreference.13.Defendantdenieseachandeveryallegationofparagraphs17,19,20,21,22,23,25,26,27and28,exceptthatdefendantsareinformedandbelievethat,subjectto-3-

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