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Gottlieb Development, LLC v. Paramount Pictures Corp.

590 F. Supp. 2d 625 (2008)

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Gottlieb Development, LLC v. Paramount Pictures Corp.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

590 F. Supp. 2d 625 (2008)

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Facts

Gottlieb Development LLC (Gottlieb) (plaintiff) was the copyright holder of a pinball machine called the Silver Slugger (Slugger). Only certain design elements of the machine were protected: (1) the use of a baseball diamond on the back, (2) the design on the upright portion of the machine and on the playing surface inside the machine; and (3) the layout of the playing surface. A Silver Slugger machine (Slugger) was shown in the background of one three-and-a-half-minute scene of the movie What Women Want, which was produced by Paramount Pictures Corporation (Paramount) (defendant). The entire movie ran over two hours. The scene involved a group of marketing professionals sitting in a playfully decorated room, trading ideas with each other for how to market a product to women. The Slugger was behind the main character and was always partially obscured by either the character or other furniture and decorations. Of the three-and-a-half-minute scene, the Slugger was visible sporadically for brief periods and was only fully visible for a few seconds. Additionally, the Slugger was never acknowledged by the characters or central to a shot. Gottlieb sued Paramount for copyright infringement. Paramount filed a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Chin, J.)

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