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White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
971 F.2d 1395 (1992)


Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (defendant) ran an advertising campaign, in which the company displayed its predictions of the future. One such prediction included an image of a robot wearing a dress and pearls on a game show, turning tiles that displayed different letters of the alphabet. The image immediately called to mind Vanna White (plaintiff) on “Wheel of Fortune,” although White is never mentioned by name. Samsung did not obtain permission from White before airing this advertisement. White subsequently brought an action against Samsung for violation of the California common law right to publicity. The district court rejected this argument on White’s summary judgment motion. White then petitioned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which heard the case before a three-judge panel.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Goodwin, J.)

Dissent (Alarcon, J.)

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