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‘Dallas’-Related Merchandise Sparks Warner Bros. Lawsuit

Studio claims Tennessee company is selling unauthorized Ewing Oil products

There’s more drama brewing at Southfork — this time of the legal variety.

Warner Bros. Entertainment has slapped a Tennessee man with a copyright infringement lawsuit over merchandise related to the TV series “Dallas.”

In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Florida on Tuesday, Warner Bros. claims that Stephen Wesley Phillips — identified as “a controlling force” in the company SWP Omnimedia, Inc. — is selling unauthorized “Dallas” merchandise via a number of domain names including ewingoil.org, ewingoil.net and ewingglobal.org.

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“Warner Bros. owns all rights including all names, characters, logos and related inidicia connected with the ‘Dallas’ series,” the lawsuit states. “Included in these are the trademarks Dallas and Southfork, as well as the characters ‘J.R. Ewing,’ ‘Bobby Ewing,’ ‘Miss Ellie,’ ‘Jock,’ the ‘Ewing’ family” and others, the lawsuit states.

An exhibit attached to the lawsuit lists office supplies, glassware and other products for saleĀ  — none of which, the complaint claims, the company is authorized to sell.

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“Warner Bros. has never at any time authorized Defendants to utilize the Infringing Promotions in conjunction with any business and/or the sale or offer for sale of merchandise including but not limited to the Infringing Merchandise,” the suit reads.

The products are merchandised on a website that runs a banner advertisement identifying the website as “The Ewing Oil Company Store,” the suit says.

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Warner Bros. “has made repeated requests that Defendants’ cease and desist from these infringing activities,” the lawsuit claims.

Alleging trademark infringement, false designation of origin and violation of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), the lawsuit is asking for a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from selling the merchandise, as well as three times the amount of any profits that have been derived from the merchandise.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.