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ANTHEM VS. JARRETT LAWSUIT UPDATE: WHAT ASPECTS OF THE LAWSUIT WERE DISMISSED THIS WEEK

By Mike Johnson on 2019-06-27 15:42:00

On Monday 6/24 United States District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw made several rulings in the Jeff Jarrett and Global Wrestling Entertainment’s lawsuit against Impact Wrestling’s parent company Anthem Sports & Entertainment. 

Several of the rulings were in Anthem’s favor.  Anthem had been arguing that they did not fall under Tennessee’s jurisdiction, despite three sets of discovery requested by the plaintiffs and having to produce over 12,000 pages of documents.  Judge Waverly agreed with Anthem, ruling with prejudice that Anthem Sports was dismissed from that count of the lawsuit for failure to state a claim or a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The Judge also ruled that Jarrett and GWE’s allegations of copyright infringement were also dismissed.   Anthem had argued that since GWE and Jarrett failed to copyright and trademark their GFW Amped! TV tapes and since Jarrett provided a license for Anthem to use the tapes, there could be no trademark infringement.  Anthem argued that by law, Jarrett & GWE should have filed their copyrights or have been refused registration in order to claim copyright infringement in court.  Since neither had happened – as Jarrett does not have physical possession of the GFW master tapes, which Impact has already admitted they deleted – Anthem argued that claim could not go forward in court.  The court sided with Anthem and dismissed that count.

All the remaining allegations against Anthem remain and are moving forward.

Those allegations, as previously reported, include claims that Impact and Anthem violated state and federal trademark infringements in relation to GFE, violated Jeff Jarrett’s exclusive property rights to his own name, photograph, and other likeness, that Anthem has used “a reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation of the GLOBAL FORCE WRESTLING and GFW trademarks” in commerce, therefore they are in violation of the Lanham Act, which prohibits trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and false advertising.  The lawsuit also claimed violation of the Lanham Act through alleged “acts of unfair competition” that were done “with the intent to deceive the public into believing that goods and services offered or sold by Defendants are made by, approved by, sponsored by, or affiliated with GFE.”

The lawsuit also alleges that Anthem has "caused products and/or services to enter interstate commerce designated with variations" of the Global Force Wrestling and GFW trademarks.  The filing claimed, "Defendants’ use of said designation and other representations constitute a false designation of origin which is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of Defendants with GFE and as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of such goods and services by GFE."  This allegation would be an alleged violation of the Lanham Act. 

Yesterday, all sides were ordered to have all written discovery and deposition of all witnesses completed by 12/6.  The court is also requesting that all expert witnesses be identified and disclosed by the same date with the depositions of those expert witnesses completed before 1/13/20.

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