It's not every day that a big financial services company and a Hollywood studio are duking it out in court. Yet that's what is happening to TD Ameritrade
right now, and the online brokerage giant and RIA custodian just won a key victory in that battle.
| Judge Dean Pregerson|
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter reports
that on Monday in California, U.S. District Court Judge Dean Pregerson
threw out trademark claims in Lionsgate's
lawsuit against TD Ameritrade. Though Lionsgate can still try to get TD Ameritrade on copyright infringement allegations, the publication notes that that's "not without its challenges" as TD Ameritrade can call the advertisement in question in the suit "a protected parody," which would fall under fair use of copyright material.
The case revolves around a TD Ameritrade ad that parodies the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing
in trying to win 401(k) rollovers. The ad is a cartoon that shows a man picking up a big, piggy bank in the style of the iconic Jennifer Grey-Patrick Swayze dance move from the movie. That visual is accompanied by on-screen text and voiceover that says "Nobody puts your old 401(k) in the corner," which Lionsgate sees as too similar to the iconic "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" line from Dirty Dancing
Per the Hollywood Reporter
, this victory for TD Ameritrade draws on a Supreme Court decision by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a ruling that contrasts the line in trademark lawsuits from that in copyright infringement cases. Fundsters interested in the details of this intellectual property case should read the full article.
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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