Mercedes Gets Green Light To Preemptively Sue Street Artists

Law360 (September 11, 2019, 9:34 PM EDT) -- Mercedes-Benz USA LLC can seek a court ruling saying the automaker didn’t infringe the intellectual property rights of several street artists by advertising with photographs containing images of murals they painted in Detroit, a Michigan federal judge decided on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn said Mercedes can preemptively sue artists James Lewis, Jeff Soto, Maxx Gramajo and Daniel Bombardier, who had accused the German-born car company of unauthorized use of their protected artworks.

The artists had argued that Mercedes couldn’t sue them because they hadn’t actually tried to register their works with the U.S. Copyright Office. But Judge Cohn swept...

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