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Warner Brothers, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
720 F.2d 231 (1983)
The American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (ABC) (defendant) sought to produce a spinoff of Superman, to which Warner Brothers, Inc. (Warner) (plaintiff) owned the rights. After being refused permission from Warner, ABC developed its own television series about a superhero, The Greatest American Hero. The show made several direct and indirect references to Superman. However, the main character, Ralph Hinkley, was portrayed as an ordinary man who used his superpowers in a comedically awkward manner—a clear contrast to Superman’s heroism and competence. Warner brought suit against ABC, alleging copyright infringement, unfair competition, and violation of the Lanham Act. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of ABC. Warner appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Newman, J.)
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