The Georgia IP Litigation Blog monitors patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret cases pending in Georgia federal district courts and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta. The blog alerts readers to initiation of such cases in the district courts and summarizes relevant orders and opinions from each covered court.
Travis P. Dunson (“Dunson”) filed suit for copyright infringement, money damages, injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees, as well as damages for breach of implied contract, conversion, unjust enrichment, and quantum meruit against Time Warner Co., Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., Warner Bros. Pictures, Atlanta Entertainment, Inc., Doug Frank, Brad Copeland, and Lloyd J. Schwartz (“Defendants”).
Original Gilligan’s Island (1964) Poster (Source: www.imdb.com)
Dunson’s complaint alleges his creation in 1999 of an original adaptation screenplay of the 1960’s Gilligan’s Island television show, which he registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, effective March 18, 2004, Certificate No. Pau2-846-399 (“Dunson’s Screenplay”).On that same date, according to the complaint, Dunson’s Screenplay was registered with the Writers Guild of America (Registration No. R15376).
According to the complaint, Dunson’s Screenplay was reviewed in 2008 by Defendant Doug Frank who “loved it.” However, Dunson’s agents became unhappy with his direct contact with Frank and announced “the deal is off.” In 2010, Dunson learned that the owners of the original Gilligan’s Island franchise were working on a remake of the television series. By 2011, Dunson learned a synopsis of the proposed adaptation was disclosed on Defendant Warner Bros. website.
The complaint relates that Dunson determined from the synopsis that the remake was substantially similar, if not identical, to Dunson’s Screenplay.In January 2013, Dunson confronted an attorney for Warner Bros. Pictures who ultimately conceded that a remake had been done.Dunson’s suit seeks compensation for any use of the remake as a work infringing on Dunson’s Screenplay.
The case is Travis P. Dunson v. Time Warner Co., Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., Warner Bros. Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, Inc., Doug Frank, Brad Copeland, and Lloyd J. Schwartz, 1:14-CV-02743, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, filed August 24, 2014, before Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.