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King v. Innovation Books

976 F.2d 824 (1992)

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King v. Innovation Books

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

976 F.2d 824 (1992)

Facts

Horror writer Stephen King (plaintiff) assigned the movie rights to his short story “The Lawnmower Man” to an English production company, Great Fantastic Picture Corporation, which later assigned the rights to Allied Vision, Ltd. (Allied) (defendant). A film version, also called The Lawnmower Man, was made by Allied and distributed in North America by New Line Cinema Corporation (New Line) (defendant). King was not involved in the screenplay or film production. However, the movie was promoted as “Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man” and contained a credit stating that it was “based upon” King’s short story. King brought suit, alleging that these uses of his name violated the Lanham Act. The district court granted a preliminary injunction with regard to both the possessory credit and the “based upon” credit. Allied and New Line appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Miner, J.)

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