9th Circ. Withdraws 'Betty Boop' IP Decision

Law360, New York (August 22, 2011, 2:23 PM EDT) -- The Ninth Circuit on Friday withdrew its opinion barring a company owned by the family of the creator of cartoon character Betty Boop from asserting trademark claims against an alleged infringer on the basis of the so-called aesthetic functionality doctrine.

The appeals court's new ruling largely upholds a district court's decision to nix Fleischer Studios Inc.'s trademark and copyright claims against Art & Vintage Licensing Agency and Leo Valencia over sales of T-shirts and handbags bearing the cartoon's image. But it does not hold — as...
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