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LATEST IN WWE 2K-RANDY ORTON TATTOO LAWSUIT

By Mike Johnson on 2019-11-07 11:31:00

A new jury trial date of 6/1/20 at 9:00 AM in Benton Courthouse has now been scheduled in the civil lawsuit brought by tattoo artist Catherine Alexander against World Wrestling Entertainment, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2K Games, Inc., 2K Sports, Inc., Visual Concepts Entertainment, Yuke’s Co., Ltd. and Yuke’s LA Inc.

The lawsuitl, filed in April 2018 in the United States District Court of Southern District of Illinois, alleges that all of Alexander's tattoo work on WWE star Randy Orton are her original designs that she owns and that she has never given any of the defendants permission to recreate them in the WWE videogames, therefore they and other defendants have infringed on her copyrights. 

In the suit, Anderson states that she performed the tattoo work on Orton between 2003 and 2008 and that "are easily recognized by his fans and members of the public."  She also noted that, in advance of the lawsuit obviously, she "submitted applications to register copyrights on each of the aforementioned works on March 15, 2018."  She also alleged that she has previously contacted WWE regarding material featuring Orton's tattoos being sold by the company in 2009 and at that time, they offered her a $450 fee for the rights to the designs.  Alexander claimed she turned that offer down and at the time, "told WWE that Plaintiff did not grant any permission to WWE to copy, duplicate or otherwise use or reproduce any of Plaintiff’s designs."

Alexander is claiming that by recreating the tattoos in the WWE videogames, the rights to her designs are being infringed upon.  She also alleges in the lawsuit that "Mr. Orton does not have ownership in the copyrights asserted herein and has no authority to and did not grant permission for Defendants to commit the acts complained of in this Complaint."  Orton has not been named as a defendant in the lawsuit and has not commented publicly on the situation.

Attempts at settling the case have, thus far, gone nowhere.

The case was at one point scheduled to go to trial but was pushed back to after the original presiding Judge retired from the bench, requiring a new Judge, Judge Staci M. Yandle, to take over the proceedings.  The trial was pushed back again to June 2020 at the request of 2K and several other plaintiffs.  The court noted that barring "extraordinary circumstances" there would be no additional delays in going to trial on the scheduled date.

All motions disputing materials filed to the case must be filed by tomorrow, 11/8, so unless that happens, the trial date should stand.

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