RC3, Inc. v. Justin Bieber
United States District Court, Middle District of Florida
Case No. 3:2012cv00193, Filed on February 24, 2012
A game about jousting beavers has apparently upset Justin Bieber enough to warrant legal action. RC3, Inc. is the producer of a game titled “Joustin’ Beaver” that involves a cartoon beaver who bears some resemblance to the celebrity-defendant. The player controls the beaver who floats down a river on a raft while knocking paparazzi “phot-hogs” into the river and signing “otter-graphs.” In February of this year, the lawyer’s of this teen pop star sent RC3, Inc a cease and desist letter, stating that RC3 had infringed upon Bieber’s rights through “trademark infringement, unfair competition under the Lanham Act and under state law, dilution, false designation of origin, passing off, misappropriation of name for commercial purposes, misrepresentation, violation of rights of publicity and interference with [the Defendant’s] contractual obligations to third parties.” Bieber’s lawyer’s further demanded that RC3 stop producing and selling the game and to “provide a complete detailed accounting to [counsel for the Defendant] with respect to sales/revenues generated by the App.”
Instead of complying with the terms stated in the cease and desist letter, RC3 decided to sue for a declaration of rights, seeking a determination that RC3 did not violate any of Bieber’s rights through its mobile application. In its complaint, RC3 stated that its game is a parody and thus protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
According to TMZ, Bieber’s lawyers have since filled for a motion to dismiss the suit, claiming that it should not have been filed in Florida.
We will track the case and keep you informed of significant developments.