SONY PICTURES v. FIREWORKS ENTERTAINMENT
156 F.Supp.2d 1148 (2001)
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
FIREWORKS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, INC., et al., Defendants,
And Related Cross Action.
CV No. 01-0723 ABC (AIJX).
United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division.
July 16, 2001.
Mark S. Lee, Seth A. Gold, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Los Angeles, CA, for Plaintiffs.
Jeffrey S. Kravitz, Keith G. Wileman, Lord, Bissell & Brook, Los Angeles, CA, for Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION ON PLAINTIFFS' CLAIMS AND GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO DISMISS, FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR TO STRIKE.
COLLINS, District Judge.
Defendants Fireworks Entertainment Group, Fireworks Communications Inc., Fireworks Productions, Inc., Paramount Pictures, and Mercury Entertainment's (collectively "Defendants") Motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication on Plaintiffs' Claims, as well as Plaintiffs Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. ("Sony"), TriStar Pictures, Inc. ("TriStar"), and Zorro Productions, Inc.'s ("ZPI") (collectively "Plaintiffs") Motion to Dismiss, for Summary Judgment, or to Strike came on regularly for a hearing before this Court on July 16, 2001. This case arises out of a dispute between Plaintiffs and Defendants about a television series, "Queen of Swords" ("QOS"). After considering the materials submitted by the parties, argument of counsel, and the case file, the Court GRANTS IN PART Defendants' Motion and Plaintiffs' Motion as described herein.I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Plaintiffs filed their Complaint on January 24, 2001. Plaintiffs allege eight claims for relief: (1) infringement of Sony's copyright in the "Mask of Zorro;" ("MOZ") (3)1 infringement of ZPI's copyright in the "Zorro: Men Aren't The Only Ones With Dual Identities" comic book; (4) infringement of ZPI's copyright in the "Lady Rawhide-Book 1, Other People's Blood" comic book; (5) infringement of ZPI's copyright in the "Lady Rawhide-Book 3: It Can't Happen Here" comic book; (6) infringement of ZPI's copyright in the "Lady Rawhide-The Night They Killed Lady Rawhide" comic book; (6)2 false designation of origin under the Lanham Act § 43(a); (7) common law unfair competition under California law; and (8) statutory unfair competition under California law. On February 26, 2001, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, which Defendants opposed. The Court denied Plaintiff's Motion on April 5, 2001. On March 2, 2001, Defendants counterclaimed against Plaintiffs for: (1) invalidity of trademarks and service marks; (2) invalidity of copyrights; (3) declaratory relief; (4) statutory unfair competition; and
(5) common law unfair competition. On the same day, Defendants answered Plaintiffs' Complaint and asserted fifteen affirmative defenses. Of the fifteen affirmative defenses, only the second through fifth are presently at issue. Those defenses are: (2) the copyrights alleged in the Complaint are invalid and unenforceable, both generally and specifically as to Defendants' QOS; (3) the trademarks and service marks alleged in the Complaint are invalid and unenforceable both generally and specifically as to Defendants' QOS; (4) the "Zorro" character is not owned by Plaintiffs or any of them; and, (5) the "Zorro" character is in the public domain.
On May 25, 2001, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication on Plaintiffs' claims. Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Dismiss Defendants' first and third counter-claims, for Summary Judgment on Defendants' second, third, fourth, and fifth counter-claims, and for Summary Judgment on, or to Strike from Defendants' Answer, Defendants' second through fifth affirmative defenses. Each side opposed the other side's Motion, and each side filed a Reply.