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On Tuesday, P22 Type Foundry, Inc., owner of Cezanne font
software, sued Universal Studios, Inc. / NBCUniversal Media, LLC, among other
defendants, for copyright infringement. P22 accuses defendants of improperly using
font software to create and sell Harry Potter merchandise. Specifically,
defendants are accused of misusing the Cezanne font set, which was created for
the Philadelphia Museum of Art and which represents the handwriting of Paul
P22 alleges that:
Defendants have created, used,
distributed or caused others to create, use or distribute Plaintiff P22's
CEZANNE REGULAR font software as a resource in the creation of Defendants'
Harry Potter merchandise including, inter alia, the "Hedwig Pillow,
"Dragon Bright Youth T-Shirt, "Dragon Sketch T-Shirt, "Ministry
of Magic Messenger Bag, "Ministry of Magic Ladies T-Shirt, "Dementors
Ladies T-Shirt, "Ministry of Magic Cap, "Dementor Cap, "Dementor
Name Pin" and "Hogwarts Stationary Set" (collective, the
"Merchandise") which have been made available for sale via Defendant
Universal's recreational theme park and via the Internet.
The complaint goes on to state:
To the extent that Defendants or
Defendants' agents may have purchased a license to use the CEZANNE Font
Software, the uses complained of herein are not authorized under the basic
license governed by P22's EULA [End User License Agreement], which prohibits,
inter alia, the use of the Font Software to create goods for sale in the manner
complained of herein.
In seeking relief, P22 is asking for but not limited to:
View or download the entire complaint filed in P22 Type Foundry, Inc. v. Universal Studios, Inc. and NBCUniversal
Media, LLC, et al., 11-03204 (E.D.N.Y. July 5, 2011)
For more information on typefaces and copyrights, read:
1-2 Nimmer on Copyright § 2.15 Typeface Designs
(Non-subscribers can purchase Nimmer on
Copyright at the LexisNexis Bookstore)
Are typeface 1 designs
copyrightable? Any argument of copyrightability may appear to be foreclosed by
reason of the House Committee's statement that it "has considered, but
chosen to defer, the possibility of protecting the design of typefaces ... .
The Committee does not regard the design of typeface ... to be a copyrightable
'pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work' within the meaning of this bill and
the application of the dividing line in section 101." 2 The House
Committee thus did not deny that typeface designs constitute
"writings" in the constitutional sense ....
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