Justin Bieber Defeats Suit Over ‘Beaver’ IPhone App


     (CN) – The creator of an iPhone application that parodies Justin Bieber’s life cannot sue the pop star for permission to use his name and likeness, a federal judge ruled.
     Click here to read Courthouse News’ Entertainment Law Digest.
     Florida-based RC3 developed a game application titled “Joustin’ Beaver” for iPhones, iPads and Android phones.
     “‘In an effort to comment on [Bieber’s] life,’ the app portrays a lance-wielding beaver wearing a purple sweater and riding a log,” according to court filings. “While navigating the beaver down a river, the player must joust with ‘Phot-Hogs’ attempting to take his photographs, sign ‘Otter-graphs,’ and avoid the ‘whirlpool of success,’ which will lead the beaver out of control.” (Brackets in complaint).
     Earlier this year, Bieber’s lawyers asked RC3 to stop using their client’s name, image and life story in its app, claiming such use might constitute trademark infringement, unfair competition and other violations.
     Disputing the alleged violations, RC3 sued Bieber in Florida for the right to continue promoting its application.
     Bieber asked the court to dismiss the suit, arguing that he lacked sufficient contacts with Florida.
     U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton Jr. agreed that RC3’s lawsuit did not arise from any of Bieber’s business activities in Florida, which were limited to intermittent recording sessions and concerts.
     RC3 had tried to establish jurisdiction by highlighting the connection between Bieber’s marketing company, Bieber Time Merchandise, and Boca Raton-based The Bridge Direct, which makes and markets Justin Bieber figurines.
     Dalton rejected the argument, however, unable to find that The Bridge Direct acted as Bieber’s agent or that the company’s activities related in any way to the lawsuit.
     Bieber’s affiliation with Island Def Jam also cannot establish personal jurisdiction even though that label is a part of Universal Music Group, which has multiple Florida connections, according to the ruling.
     Dalton dismissed the action, giving RC3 until Oct. 15 to file an amended complaint.

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