10:47am PT by Eriq Gardner
Hollywood Docket: Lady Gaga Management Firm Legal Drama
Coalition Media, the talent management firm that represents Lady Gaga among other entertainers, is being sued for $35 million by one of the firm's partner, Mams Taylor, who claims he has been cheated out of profits.
Taylor alleges that he put up the initial capital investment for Coalition in return for 20% of the firm. Since his investment, Taylor says his colleagues at Coalition have attempted to strip him of his interest in the firm "through a series of sham transactions."
In particular, Taylor says that partner Troy Carter claimed the ownership interest had been converted into a loan, and then claimed the ownership interest had been sold three years ago to co-defendant Cody Leibel, who then allegedly transferred the interest back to Coalition. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Taylor is represented by noted music attorney Russell Frackman at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp.
In other legal news....
- A federal appeals court upheld a ruling that EchoStar infringed TiVo patents for digital recording technology. The court ruled too that EchoStar's efforts to work around the patent didn't satisfy an earlier injunction and held EchoStar in contempt. The decision is a big win for TiVo, but EchoStar says it plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- The House of Mickey Mouse has joined with the House of Fred Flinstone in a copyright and trademark lawsuit against a company that was selling unlicensed costumes of popular characters owned by Disney and Hanna-Barbera Productions. [Here's the complaint]
- The J.R.R. Tolkien estate has successfully pressured a summer camp near Calgary, Canada to change its name from "Rivendell." In Lord of the Rings, Rivendell provides a Middle-Earth refuge for hobbits fleeing their enemy. Now, kids will have to frolic at a summer camp that doesn't violate the trademark of a litigious author's estate.
- Speaking of Lady Gaga, she recently denied a request made by Weird Al Yankovic to parody her song, "Born this Way." It was nice of Weird Al to ask. He then released it anyway, not on an album, but as a free song distributed via YouTube and Twitter. Gaga liked the result and decided to authorize it for inclusion on Weird Al's album.