Sounds like there might be too much of a Good thing in the film industry these days.
The producers of “City of Lies,” Johnny Depp’s upcoming film about the murder investigations surrounding Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., have filed suit against another film company, saying that the similar names between the companies are causing confusion in the industry.
The suit was filed Monday in federal court in California by Good Film Productions U.S. Inc and its UK-based sister company Good Film Productions Ltd., who according to the suit have used the trademark Good Films in connection to its film productions since at least 2008.
However, the suit says, an identity crisis arose when “The Hangover” producer Scott Budnick began using Good Films for his own film production company.
“Beginning on a date that is currently unknown to Plaintiff, but believed to be no earlier than 2015, and continuing to the present, Defendants have, without the consent or authorization of Plaintiffs, used the trademark ‘GOOD FILMS’ in relation to Defendants [sic] film production company,” the suit reads. “On information and belief, the services offered by Defendant GF are the exact same as those offered by Plaintiffs: development and production of films. As such, Defendant GF’s use of the ‘GOOD FILMS’ trademark has resulted in press in the same or similar outlets that have given coverage to Plaintiffs and has or will get exposure that the same film festivals and confuse the film-consuming public.”
The complaint continues, “The trademark used by Plaintiffs and Defendants are the exact same in sight, sound, and meaning. Defendants’ use of ‘GOOD FILMS’ has and, on information and belief, will continue to cause confusion and mistake to the consuming public, unless enjoined.”
The suit alleges that the situation has “already caused confusion to even sophisticated industry insiders.”
“For example, Plaintiffs’ producer attended an industry party, where he was pulled aside by another producer who had met with Defendant GF previously and wanted to follow-up about potentially partnering with Defendant GF,” the suit says. “In a separate instance, a studio executive in charge of acquisitions, who had a history of dealing with Plaintiffs, reached out to Plaintiff Good Films US to discuss a recent project that he believed Plaintiffs were working on. The studio executive did not realize the project actually belonged to Defendants.”
TheWrap has reached out to Budnick’s legal representative for comment.
The suit alleges false designation of origin, unfair competition and common law unfair competition, and seeks unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.