Chaplin v. Amador

93 Cal. App. 358, 269 P. 544 (1928)

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Chaplin v. Amador

California Court of Appeal
93 Cal. App. 358, 269 P. 544 (1928)

SH

Facts

Charlie Chaplin (plaintiff) originated and perfected a particular character on the motion-picture screen. Chaplin, in this character, wore a kind of attire consisting of a particular kind of mustache, an old and threadbare hat, trousers and shoes much too large for him, an ill-fitting vest, a tight-fitting coat, and a flexible cane he carried, swung, and bent as he performed his part. This character, and the manner of dress, has been used by Chaplin for so long and with such talent that he became known all over the world as this character. Sometime in the 1920s, Charles Amador (defendant) and others produced a motion picture entitled The Race Track, in which Amador appeared under the stage name Charlie Aplin, a character whose dress and antics were similar to that of Chaplin. The producers promoting The Race Track announced, among other things, “record breaking comedies featuring ‘Charlie Aplin’ in the well-known character, famous the world over.” Chaplin filed suit for an injunction against Amador.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Preston, J.)

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