Payton & Associates, LLC
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida
786-574-4943

Company and artist resolve "Angry Birds" lawsuit


When business disputes arise between Miami businesses, the resolution of those disputes can be complicated. Business disputes often involve many different moving parts, with opposing companies having different strategies and goals for getting the dispute resolved.

When business litigation is commenced, businesses must often react to different events that take place during the course of the litigation. At the same time, it helps to have a good idea of how these events will unfold, and to put in place a proactive strategy to best protect the company's interests.

As part of this strategy, parties to a lawsuit should understand the different motions they can file with the court, as well as how the court is likely to rule on those motions. In a recent intellectual property dispute, for example, a company filed a motion to dismiss an action brought against it by an artist who claimed she suffered millions of dollars in damages from the sale of pet toys she had designed.

The artist and the company had signed a licensing agreement related to the design of plush pet toys. According to the artist, the company violated the agreement by entering an agreement with another business to sell pet toys based on the Angry Birds video game. While the company claimed it owned the Angry Birds trademark, the court denied the company's motion to dismiss the case and set the matter for a jury trial. Instead of proceeding, the parties recently settled the case, although the terms of the settlement were confidential.

The case illustrates how litigation can be a moving target. Companies may file motions with the court to ask the judge to act on business contract issues or other matters, but the parties also need to be prepared for how they should proceed if the court denies their motions. In many cases, such as the one above, the best strategy may be to settle the matter rather than proceed with the uncertainty of a jury trial. Of course, each case is different, and settlement is not always the best option.

Source: Business Insider, "Settlement reached in Seattle artist's 'Angry Birds' lawsuit," Jan. 5, 2016

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