N.D. Ga.

Harlem Globetrotters Sue to Stop Infringement & Dilution of Iconic Images

Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. v. Sunset Pictures, LLC et al, Civil Action No. 1:23-cv-00546-LMM (N.D. Ga., Feb. 6, 2023)

The “nationally beloved” Harlem Globetrotters have brought suit to stop a number of unauthorized references to their brand in a movie scheduled to be publicly screened for the first time by the end of the week.

Plaintiff Harlem Globetrotters allege the Defendants, Sunset Pictures, LLC, and Briarcliff Entertainment LLC, incorporated their “iconic” trademarks into social media posts promoting the upcoming release of the film “Sweetwater,” which depicts the life of 1950s basketball star Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton.

According to the Complaint, Defendants have repeatedly refused to cooperate with multiple “meet and confer” attempts, thus necessitating judicial intervention. Further, Plaintiff accuses Defendants of infringement and dilution of federally-registered trademarks and unfair competition under the Lanham Act. In addition, Plaintiff filed an emergency motion to expediated discovery.

The case has been assigned to Judge Leigh Martin May.

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