A date has been set.
Fox 2 Now reports WWE and Catherine Alexander will head to trial on September 4 over the usage of Randy Orton's tattoos in WWE 2K.
Alexander claims that Orton did not have ownership to what later became copyrighted material and that he didn’t have the authority to nor did she grant permission for WWE and the tech firms to use the tattoo designs.
The tattoos include tribal tattoos on Orton’s forearm, a Bible verse on his arm, a dove, a rose, and a skull.
A judge ruled last fall, "There is disputed evidence regarding the value of the copyright tattoo works to the videogames. Defendants argue the evidence establishes that consumers do not purchase ‘WWE 2K’ because of the tattoos. But other evidence shows that consumers did purchase ‘WWE 2K’ for its authenticity to the wrestlers’ appearance. In particular, defendants admit that consumer response is a consideration to their development of ‘WWE 2K’ and the design choices made. They also acknowledge that consumers expect there to be authenticity in the videogames and that WWE would have rejected Orton’s videogame persona if it appeared without his tattoos or appeared with tattoos that were different than Orton’s actual tattoos.”
The suit seeks damages and recovery of court costs.
Last March, Take-Two beat a copyright suit brought by a company that claimed to own the tattoo designs featured on the bodies of NBA stars LeBron James, Kenyon Martin and Eric Bledsoe. In that case, the New York judge ruled that the small display of tattoos in a video game weren't substantially similar to what were on the basketball players, and even if otherwise, the use of the copyrighted material was de minimis, there was a reasonable inference of an implied license, and the video game maker also had a good case for fair use.