Hollywood Docket: Lucasfilm/Pixar 'Conspiracy'?; New Barbie Lawsuit; Godzilla Settlement

Some stories of note this week in entertainment law...

  • Lucasfilm and Pixar recently settled claims made by the Department of Justice over anticompetitive hiring practices, but now the two companies are facing a class action that alleges a “conspiracy...to eliminate competition between them for skilled labor.” Other tech giants including Apple and Google are also defendants in the case.
  • Donna Douglas, the actress who played Elly May Clampett on the 1960s television hit The Beverly Hillbillies, is suing Mattel Inc., over the toymaker's new "Elly May Barbie" doll. Clampett claims the doll violates her likeness and that a photo of her is used in packaging. This isn't the first lawsuit that Mattel has been hit with over its Barbie line. Earlier this year, a singer claimed to be the inspiration behind "Hard Rock Barbie."
  • Pop star Ke$ha recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to Wimo Labs, the makers of a watchstrap called "TikTok," claiming the product violated the trademark of her debut single, "Tik Tok." Wimo has filed a lawsuit in Illinois federal court seeking a declaration that its product does no such thing.
  • A number of celebrities, including Sienna Miller, Jude Law and Heather Mills, are considering suing News of the World, owned by Rupert Murdoch, over the ongoing phone hacking saga. Reportedly, settlements have been offered, yet no one is biting.
  • We previously reported about a spot-the-infringement lawsuit by Toho over use of its trademarked and copyrighted character "Godzilla" in a Honda commercial. The case has been settled. Financial terms haven't been released, but we're told the commercial has been changed.