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NBC, design studio settle contract dispute over typeface

Looks mean a lot. That may not be something we have to say in the famously appearance-focused city of Los Angeles, but in the case we're going to discuss, you will see why it's a truism that bears repeating.

Last Tuesday, it was announced that a $3.5 million lawsuit a design company filed against NBCUniversal, in which it alleged that NBC used the design company's typeface in violation of the terms of the parties' contract, had been settled.

Evidently, what happened was that the Brand Design Co. licensed its "Chalet" typeface to Oxygen Media, which is one of NBC's subsidiaries. Brand Design Co. alleged that the deal only permitted the typeface to be used by Oxygen, but NBC went ahead and used the typeface for its other subsidiaries, too.

Other than the fact that both parties will pay their own legal expenses, terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

We thought this was a story worth writing on because it shows that just the fact that you have a contract does not mean that your deal will be carried out smoothly. Naturally, having a contract is a good idea and likely will prevent many problems from developing. However, that contract must be abided by and its terms must be fulfilled, and sometimes those things do not happen. Sometimes that is because the other party innocently misunderstands and sometimes it is because the other party is willfully not holding up its end of the deal.

In any event, having an attorney on your side to offer you counsel if and when you need it can help ensure that the transactions memorialized by your contracts are carried out properly.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Docket: NBCU Makes $3.5 Million Lawsuit Over Fonts Disappear," Eriq Gardner, Jan. 11, 2013

In our Los Angeles office, we often help clients with contract matters. For more information, you could visit the Contracts section of our website.

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