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WWE WINS LAWSUIT BROUGHT AGAINST THEM OVER RIGHTS TO WRESTLER'S NAME

By Mike Johnson on 2008-07-07 10:29:01

World Wrestling Entertainment successfully defended itself in a lawsuit brought against the company over the rights to the ring name of former WWE star Gangrel by CCP hf and CCP North America when the case was dismissed by Judge Marvin H. Shoob on 6/30.

CCP had claimed that WWE, which licensed the right to the name of the character used in a role-playing game that pre-existed David Heath being hired by WWE through 2003, continued to use the name without permission or payment in Heath's subsequent appearances.

In a ruling issued by Shoob, it was decreed that CCP could not prove they had been actively utilizing the trademark nor that their Vampire-based games including their Gangrel character, so they were unable to sue for infringement.  Their claim that they use and continue to use the Gangrel name was ruled "insufficient to allege trademark rights."

The Judge also shot down the claim that WWE using the Gangrel character (which appeared mostly in one-shot appearances or WWE developmental events in recent years) without proper credit, they were misrepresenting the ownership of the character and/or implying its programming is affiliated with CCP.  The Judge also dismissed that claim.

From reading the ruling, it appears the court would be open to CCP pursuing a copyright issue over the use of the character but the way trademark law is written, CCP couldn't prove their case and when WWE filed a motion to dismiss based on that issue, the Judge sided with WWE.