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In California court, 'Hunger Games' mockingjay pin center of copyright dispute

Lionsgate Films, which is making the movie adaptations of "The Hunger Games" series, recently filed suit in California federal court against a company that it alleges is violating its copyright.

At issue are pins that the company getting sued is making.

These aren't just ordinary pins, though. They are "mockingjay pins" which show a bird in a gold circle. The heroine of "The Hunger Games" wears the pin as a reminder to have courage and strength, and the "mockingjay" image has been used to promote the movies and books.

Lionsgate has licensed a manufacturer to produce memorabilia associated with "The Hunger Games," including calendars, figurines and mockingjay pins. Its lawsuit against the company it claims is making knockoffs, Yagoozon, seeks and injunction to prevent Yagoozon from continuing to make "mockingjay" pins.

For its part, Yagoozon has argued that by allowing only certain companies to make and sell "mockingjay pins," Lionsgate and the pin manufacturer are violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

The second installment of "The Hunger Games" film trilogy is expected in November 2013. It will be interesting to see whether we see more lawsuits similar to this one unfold over time.
"The Hunger Games" has been an immensely popular franchise and oftentimes, companies scramble to get their piece of such a profitable pie.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Lionsgate Sues to Protect Cherished 'Hunger Games' Emblem," Eriq Gardner, Dec. 19, 2012

  • We wrote about this story because we practice intellectual property law and entertainment law and other legal fields. If you are interested in learning more, we invite you to visit the Intellectual Property portion of our website.

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