California residents may be interested in learning more about a lawsuit that Desilu Productions, the television company that produced “I Love Lucy,” filed against CBS. The lawsuit claims that CBS intentionally violated the Desilu brand name that was originally created by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The lawyer representing Desilu claims that the legal rights to use the trademark were never legally transferred to CBS. The suit states that the trademark infringement caused Desilu to lose a considerable amount of money and property.
Furthermore, the lawsuit stipulates that CBS formerly attempted to gain control over Desilu’s creative efforts, which were managed by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. The lawsuit was filed because the celebrity couple’s daughter, Lucy Arnaz, wanted to use the name Desilu in an attempt to reestablish the trademark. Desilu claims that CBS caused irreparable injuries to their brand and forced Arnaz to stop working on new projects.
Additionally, the claim states that Desilu has a right to receive the profits earned by CBS while they were using the trademark for purposes unrelated to the “I Love Lucy” show. Desilu wants CBS to provide a full accounting of monetary records pertaining to the usage of the Desilu brand for commercial gain.
This type of celebrity business litigation involves a complex interpretation of the law. On the one hand, CBS might have specific rights for using the Desilu name. On the other hand, the production company may have a valid point in maintaining that CBS violated certain rights intended for the sole use by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. A business litigation lawyer can help sort out truth from fiction.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “‘I Love Lucy’ Film Company Sues CBS Over Trademark Infringement,” Martin Macias Jr., April 9, 2018