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Raymond Weil, S.A. v. Theron

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
585 F. Supp. 2d 473 (2008)


Facts

Raymond Weil, S.A. (RW) (plaintiff) was a manufacturer and seller of luxury watches. RW entered into an endorsement contract with Denver and Delilah Films (DDF) (defendant), a production company owned by Charlize Theron (defendant), a famous actress. DDF acted as a loan-out corporation for Theron for agreements where Theron would agree to render services to a third party. The endorsement contract with RW provided that DDF would be paid $3 million in exchange for the use of Theron’s image for the purpose of advertising RW’s watches. The contract prohibited Theron from wearing other watches in public during the term of the agreement and from allowing her likeness to be used for advertising other watches or jewelry. The contract permitted each party a five-day period to cure a breach after notification of the breach, unless the breach could not be cured. During the term, Theron agreed to be photographed wearing a necklace made by Montblanc, which also made watches. At a prestigious trade show, Montblanc displayed a poster of Theron wearing the necklace. RW notified DDF that this was a breach of the agreement, and Montblanc removed the poster within the five-day notice period. Subsequently, Theron wore a watch made by Christian Dior to a press conference at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW). Theron was photographed wearing the watch, and those images were published on the Internet and used by another competitor. RW sued DDF and Theron for breach of contract. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (McMahon, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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