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Brill v. Walt Disney Company

246 P.3d 1099 (2010)

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Brill v. Walt Disney Company

Oklahoma Court of Appeals

246 P.3d 1099 (2010)

Facts

Mark Brill (plaintiff) was a race-car driver and has driven a red race car with the number 95 painted in yellow on the doors since 1995. The race car is a modified Chevrolet Monte Carlo, a two-door body style with a relatively long hood and swept back windshield. Brill sued The Walt Disney Company, Pixar Animation Studios, and Michael Wallis (defendants), alleging a misappropriation of his likeness and a violation of his right of publicity based on the use of the Lighting McQueen character in the movie Cars. Lighting McQueen was an animated fictional talking car. Lighting McQueen did not have a driver. The windshield depicted the car’s eyes, and the grill of the car displayed a smiling face that talks. Lighting McQueen was a red race car with the number 95 displayed in yellow over a lightning bolt painted on the side of the car. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, and Brill appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mitchell, J.)

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