TNT Settles 'Falling Skies' Font Infringement Lawsuit

"Falling Skies" (TNT)

The Steven Spielberg-produced alien-invasion drama ended the season as basic cable's No. 1 new series of the summer, averaging 4.2 million total viewers, according to the Nielsen Co. The finale proved the season's biggest draw, luring 5.6 million to the Noah Wyle vehicle.

Turner Broadcasting has resolved a lawsuit by a German designer that claimed that the TNT series Falling Skies, a show about an alien invasion that is executive produced by Steven Spielberg, had an inappropriate font in its title sequence.

Matius Gerardo Grieck, founder of the +ISM studio, sued in January, saying that the Falling Skies lettering in marketing materials was too close the Anthropolymorphics font he developed. On the verge of the series' second season, the parties have agreed to a settlement.

The federal government has advised that typefaces are not subject to copyright. But font software is protectible, and Greick alleged that the show breached the licensing agreement on the font software by disobeying the restrictive terms of use. He was seeking $200,000 plus a permanent injunction.

Had the lawsuit proceeded, Grieck would likely have needed to show that the defendants actually used his software -- instead of just tracing the font -- but instead of expensive litigation, the parties found a way to hit the escape button on the dispute in a private settlement with unknown terms.

A spokesperson for TNT declined comment on whether Falling Skies would look any different when the new season premieres on June 17.

The network isn't the only entity in entertainment to face legal action of an allegedly stolen font. Earlier this year, NBC Universal settled a million-dollar case over a font used in Harry Potter merchandise.


Twitter: @eriqgardner