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Remember when Mike Tyson‘s tattoo artist sued Warner Bros. to stop The Hangover: Part II, claiming the copyright on his tattoo was infringed in the film? Of course, this wasn’t going to be the last lawsuit making such a claim that tattoos are works of original authorship and that publishers need permission to make copies.
Chris Escobedo, a tattoo artist in Arizona, is now suing videogame publisher THQ over the UFC Undisputed games.
The game is said to feature a professional mixed martial artist named Carlos Condit who sports on his right ribcage a “Lion Tattoo.”
Escobedo claims credit for that tattoo, which he says he drew on paper before putting it on Condit, who is presently the UFC Welterweight Champion. Escobedo says he was issued a copyright registration on the “Lion Tattoo” on February 24.
The lawsuit charges THQ with “including an exact reproduction of the Lion Tattoo” in UFC Undisputed 2010 and UFC Undisputed 3, that latter of which came out earlier this month and has already sold more than 666,000 copies.
Escobedo is now asking for an order directing THQ to account to him and pay him profits.
THQ hasn’t yet commented about the lawsuit.
See an image from the court papers filed on Friday in Arizona federal court above. The plaintiff says the image was displayed as a “signature moment” from the game on THQ’s website.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @eriqgardner