Judge 'Inclined' to Drop Viacom From SpongeBob Ukulele Suit

Law360, Los Angeles (May 13, 2013, 5:19 PM EDT) -- A California federal judge indicated Monday that he will drop Viacom International Inc. from a suit alleging a ukulele featuring cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants infringed Gibson Guitar Corp.'s "Flying V" trademark, saying Gibson had not shown Viacom was involved in the design of the instrument.

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson said he was “inclined” to grant Viacom's motion to dismiss because Viacom appeared to be no more than a “passive licensor” that licensed its SpongeBob mark to U.K. instrument distributor John Hornby Skewes & Co....
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