Netflix have won an intellectual property infringement claim made against it in a Virginia federal court.
Netflix were recently sued for alleged copyright and trade mark infringement. The claim was brought by Roland Macher, the author of “Slumlord Millionaire”, who claimed that Netflix had infringed his rights when it aired an episode of its documentary series “Dirty Money” bearing the same title as his self-published book.
Netflix applied to have the claim dismissed in March on the basis the claimant had failed to state a claim and lack of personal jurisdiction, a motion that was ultimately upheld by the court.
Judge Thomas T. Cullen commented, “the episode has nothing to do with Macher or his book”. According to its synopsis, Macher’s book focuses on “the ins and outs of the real estate industry”. In contrast, the Netflix documentary centres around the life of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former US President Donald Trump, and his journey from real estate tycoon to senior presidential adviser.
The judge noted that the differences between the document and the book were sufficient to allay concerns of any possibility of confusion for the purpose of trade mark infringement, and further confirmed that it was well established in US law that titles are not subject to copyright protection in any event.
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