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Will Latest Copyright Lawsuit Over Use of Tattoo Artwork Leave a Mark?

  • By: Robert Klein

A video released online recently shows gameplay from THQ’s UFC Undisputed 3. The attention to detail on American mixed martial artist Carlos Condit (one of the fighters featured in the clip) includes a striking recreation of a lion tattoo on the welterweight’s rib cage. However, the video game website Kotaku reported on November 17, 2012, that THQ is now being sued for unlicensed use of that tattoo art.

Phoenix, Arizona-based Elite Tattoo owner Chris Escobedo owns the design and claims that the video game publisher never got permission to use it. Escobedo filed a lawsuit against THQ claiming that he is owed compensation for the tattoo being digitally recreated in the games, and the lawsuit also claims THQ’s usage of Condit’s likeness for UFC Undisputed 3 and UFC Undisputed 2010 violates Escobedo’s copyright.

As Kotaku noted, this type of lawsuit is hardly unprecedented. Last June, Warner Bros. settled a lawsuit filed by S. Victor Whitmill, a tattooist who claimed that “The Hangover Part II” filmmakers stole his copyrighted design by not getting his permission to use the same pattern Whitmill had created for professional boxer Mike Tyson. The movie featured a similar design on the face of a character played by actor Ed Helms. While the tattooist was unsuccessful in his initial attempt to block the film’s release, a judge did allow the lawsuit to move forward. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Do you think that artwork rendered on the human body should be subject to copyright protection? The lawsuit against THQ bears following, and you can find more information about intellectual property on our website. If you believe that another party has used your copyrighted material without permission, contact our firm at (323) 405-1002 or use the form on this page to let our Los Angeles business litigation attorneys review your own case.

Klein Trial Lawyers – Los Angeles intellectual property infringement lawyers

Robert Klein

About the Author Attorney Robert Klein is a former CPA and known for
finding creative solutions to complex business lawsuits.