Seuss, ComicMix shut e-book on landmark copyright dispute over ‘Star Trek’ mashup

  • Attorney says defendants settled due to illustrator’s most cancers
  • ninth Circuit discovered e-book wasn’t protected by honest use doctrine
  • Court had declined to rule for Seuss on claims earlier than trial

(Reuters) – Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP and the makers of the Dr. Seuss/”Star Trek” mashup e-book “Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go!” have settled Seuss’ copyright infringement claims, in response to a Tuesday submitting in San Diego federal courtroom.

In an agreement filed with the courtroom, the events agreed that the e-book infringes Seuss’ copyrights and completely bars ComicMix LLC, former “Star Trek” author David Gerrold, illustrator Ty Templeton and others from promoting it, whereas Seuss agreed to drop any claims for damages or attorneys’ charges.

The defendants’ lawyer Dan Booth of Dan Booth Law mentioned in a press release that his purchasers settled due to Templeton’s analysis of Stage 3 colorectal most cancers earlier this yr.

“After five years of litigation and with the pre-trial deadlines looming, as Ty’s collaborators and friends, we refuse to put him through any additional stress that would in any way impinge on his health and recovery. To the credit of the people at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, they didn’t want to put Ty through that either,” Booth mentioned. “So we joined in a motion to end the suit the day before Ty’s surgery, in order to alleviate the less serious pain in his butt.”

Seuss Enterprises and its lawyer Tamar Duvdevani of DLA Piper did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

The ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dominated final yr that the mashup of “Star Trek” components with Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” wasn’t lined by the doctrine of honest use – which may defend works that use copyrighted materials from infringement claims when the use is for parody, commentary or different functions – largely as a result of it did not rework the unique.

U.S. Circuit Judge Margaret McKeown wrote for a three-judge panel that the mashup “took the heart of Dr. Seuss’ works,” wasn’t a parody as a result of it merely juxtaposed Seuss’ works with “Star Trek” components and wasn’t in any other case transformative.

The ninth Circuit’s ruling was seen as an necessary precedent to make clear the boundaries of honest use. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to overview the choice in June.

The appeals courtroom had reversed U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino’s 2019 ruling that the mashup made honest use of Seuss’ work. In August, Sammartino rejected Seuss Enterprises’ bid on remand for a pre-trial ruling that the e-book infringed its copyrights.

The case is Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP v. ComicMix LLC, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, No. 3:16-cv-02779.

For Seuss: Tamar Duvdevani of DLA Piper

For ComicMix: Dan Booth of Dan Booth Law; and T.C. Johnston of Internet Law

Read extra:

Oh, the place does the Seuss-Star Trek copyright battle go subsequent? To a jury.

‘Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go!’ dispute will not go to SCOTUS, justices say

Dr. Seuss’s property can sue over ‘Star Trek’ ‘mash-up’

Dr. Seuss lawsuit over Star Trek-themed parody is dismissed

Blake Brittain

Blake Brittain reviews on mental property legislation, together with patents, emblems, copyrights and commerce secrets and techniques. Reach him at

Books by Dr. Seuss are displayed in a bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid