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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)


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


Holding and Reasoning (Chin, J.)

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