Electronic Arts in Trademark Battle Against John Dillinger’s Estate

3 09 2009

Court Case Number: 5:09-cv-03965-HRL

File Date: Thursday, August 27, 2009

Plaintiff: Electronic Arts, Inc.

Plaintiff Counsel: R. Adam Lauridsen, R. James Slaughter of Keker & Van Nest LLP

Defendant: Dillinger, LLC

Cause: Trademark Infringement

Court: California Northern District Court

Judge: Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd

Video game mega-company Electronic Arts filed suit last week in the US District Court of Northern California against Indiana-based Dillinger, LLC, over the in-game use of a pair of weapons bearing the famed criminal’s moniker.  Specifically, the firearms in question are the “Dillinger Tommy Gun” found in The Godfather and the “Modern Dillinger” available in The Godfather II.

EA is seeking a declaratory judgment that its use of John Dillinger’s name does not violate Dillinger’s rights.  The complaint alleges that on July 22 (exactly 75 years after the bank robber was gunned down by the FBI in Chicago, mind you) Dillinger contacted EA threatening legal action if the publisher did not agree to pay “millions of dollars for the game elements purportedly covered by its publicity rights and trademarks.”


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