Disney settles lawsuit over ‘Frozen’ trailer

A copyright suit between Walt Disney and a California resident has been settled, according to a June 24 court filing.

Disney settles lawsuit over ‘Frozen’ trailer

Kelly Wilson of Mill Valley sued Disney in March 2014, claiming that a trailer for the animated movie Frozen infringes his computer-animated film The Snowman.

He said the Frozen snowman character Olaf, as shown in the trailer, too strongly resembled the snowman in his film, and that the plot, themes, dialogue, setting, pace, and characters in the Disney trailer were “substantially similar” to his film.

In an order in July 2014, US District Judge Vince Chhabria said the plot and sequence of events in the Disney trailer and the Wilson film “have too much in common” for a court to decide that no reasonable juror would find “substantial similarity” of ideas and expression.

He dismissed Wilson’s claim that the entire Frozen film, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s 19th-century fairy tale, The Snow Queen, infringed his Snowman.

The order dismissing the case did not disclose any details of the settlement, saying only that the parties had resolved the dispute.

GSK faces lawsuit over Teva accord

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) must face a lawsuit challenging an agreement to keep its generic version of the Lamictal epilepsy drug off the market, if Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in return dropped a patent case.

Teva had challenged the validity of Glaxo’s patents on lamotrigine, the active ingredient in Lamictal. The two companies settled after a judge ruled a patent’s main claim invalid, according to the appeals court.

As part of the deal, London-based Glaxo agreed to allow Teva’s early entry into the $50 million annual market for generic chewable versions of the drug and agreed not to produce its own non-branded tablet copy for a market allegedly worth $2bn annually.

Direct buyers of the drug sued Glaxo, saying the accord with Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva hindered competition. A lower court threw the case out.

In reinstating the suit June 26, the US Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled that the deal may represent “an unusual, unexplained” reverse transfer of considerable value and might be seen as anticompetitive.

The appeals court agreed that the accord on generic tablets could eliminate the risk of competition for longer than the patent’s strength would otherwise permit. The deal is similar to the kinds of pay-for-delay accords the US Supreme Court ruled in 2013 required greater antitrust scrutiny.

“Settlements like this one are pro-competitive because they allow parties to resolve expensive, business-disrupting litigation and permit competition,” Glaxo said. “GSK is confident this settlement will be upheld as pro-competitive and consistent with federal and state antitrust laws.”


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