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Allen v. National Video, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
610 F. Supp. 612 (S.D.N.Y. 1985)


National Video, Inc. (defendant) published an advertisement for its video rental chain in a magazine called “Video Review.” The advertisement featured a picture of Boroff (defendant), who looked like Woody Allen (plaintiff). In the picture, Boroff leaned on a counter holding up a National Video V.I.P. card and smiling. On the counter were a few movies associated with Allen. The text next to the picture stated “Become a V.I.P. at National Video. We’ll Make You Feel Like a Star.” Allen sued National Video for violating the Lanham Act’s prohibition on false endorsement. National Video admitted that it was seeking to evoke Allen’s image but claimed that it did not intend to insinuate that the person in the picture actually was Allen. Allen moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Motley, C.J.)

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