Roddenberry v. Roddenberry
California Court of Appeal
51 Cal. Rptr. 2d 907 (1996)
Gene Roddenberry (defendant) developed the television series Star Trek during the 1960s, while he was married to Eileen Roddenberry (plaintiff). The show ran for three seasons and was generally considered a commercial failure. Gene and Eileen divorced in 1969 and entered into a divorce settlement. The settlement agreement allocated all interests in Star Trek to Gene, except for a one-half interest in all future profit-participation income from Star Trek. Gene later remarried to Majel Roddenberry and continued working on Star Trek projects. Over the next few years, six movies were developed, along with three additional television series, including an animated series. These Star Trek projects were commercially successful. Eileen sued Gene, claiming that she was entitled to half of all income from all of the subsequent Star Trek projects. After trial, the court entered a multi-part judgment. The court determined that the movies and the animated series were not intended to be included as part of the divorce settlement. However, the trial court determined that the other two television series were continuations of the first series and awarded half of the profits from those projects to Eileen. Gene appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Zebrowski, J.)
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