This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 08/01/2022 at 09:54:23 (UTC).

NETFLIX WORLDWIDE ENTERTAINMENT, LLC et al v. BARLOW et al

Case Summary

On July 29, 2022, Netflix Worldwide Entertainment, LLC and Netflix Studios, LLC (together, “Plaintiffs”), represented by Ginger D. Anders of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Abigail Barlow d/b/a Abigail Barlow Publishing, Emily Bear d/b/a Jordan King Music USA, Pink & Purple Lady, Inc., and Barlow & Bear, LLC, (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking declaratory, injunctive relief with damages, for alleged copyright and trademark infringement. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The plaintiffs own registered copyrights and trademarks in the wildly popular Bridgerton series. This is an action for the infringement of those federally registered copyrights and trademarks in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 501 and 15 U.S.C. § 1114 and declaratory judgment under 28 U.S.C. § 2201.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs alleged, “Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their companies (‘Barlow & Bear’) have taken valuable intellectual property from the Netflix original series Bridgerton to build an international brand for themselves. Bridgerton reflects the creative work and hard-earned success of hundreds of artists and Netflix employees. Netflix owns the exclusive right to create Bridgerton songs, musicals, or any other derivative works based on Bridgerton. Barlow & Bear cannot take that right—made valuable by others’ hard work—for themselves, without permission. Yet that is exactly what they have done.”

The plaintiffs further alleged, “On July 26, 2022, over Netflix’s repeated objections, Barlow & Bear staged a massive, for-profit stage show—entitled ‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Album Live in Concert’—to a sold-out audience at the Kennedy Center, with tickets ranging up to $149 each and VIP packages. The live show featured over a dozen songs that copied verbatim dialogue, character traits and expression, and other elements from Bridgerton the series. It included dramatic portrayals of Bridgerton characters by Broadway actors, emoting through the performance of the songs that comprise the ‘musical.’ Throughout the performance, Barlow & Bear misrepresented to the audience that they were using Netflix’s BRIDGERTON trademark ‘with Permission,’ while Netflix vigorously objected. Barlow & Bear also announced they intend to stage yet another performance of their unauthorized derivative works at the Royal Albert Hall in London, making this a world tour. Barlow & Bear even promoted their own line of Bridgerton-themed merchandise.” 

The plaintiffs also alleged, “Barlow & Bear’s conduct began on social media, but stretches ‘fan fiction’ well past its breaking point. It is blatant infringement of intellectual property rights. The copyright and trademark laws do not allow Barlow & Bear to appropriate others’ creative work and goodwill to benefit themselves. Netflix therefore files this action to protect its rights.”

The plaintiffs presented four claims for relief, including allegations of copyright infringement, false designation of origin under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(A)(1), and the infringement of registered trademarks under 15 U.S.C. § 1114. 

In the prayer for relief, the plaintiffs requested a judgment seeking declaratory relief establishing Netflix’s rights, and a preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. The plaintiffs also requested for an award of damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs of suit and interest.

This is a summary of a legal complaint. All statements, claims, and allegations listed herein reflect the position of the plaintiff only and do not represent the position of UniCourt. Additionally, this case summary may not reflect the current position of the parties to this litigation or the current status of this case. To view the latest case updates and court documents, please sign up for a UniCourt account.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:22-CV-02247

  • Filing Date:

    07/29/2022

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Intellectual Property - Copyright

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

NETFLIX WORLDWIDE ENTERTAINMENT, LLC

NETFLIX STUDIOS, LLC

Defendants

ABIGAIL BARLOW d/b/a ABIGAIL BARLOW PUBLISHING

EMILY BEAR d/b/a JORDAN KING MUSIC USA

PINK & PURPLE LADY, INC.

BARLOW & BEAR, LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Ginger Dawn Anders

Attorney at MUNGER, TOLLES & OLSON LLP

601 Massachusetts Avenue, Nw, Suite 500E

Washington, DC 20001-5369

 

Court Documents

1 #1

Main Document

1 #1

Exhibit A

1 #2

Exhibit B

1 #3

Exhibit C

1 #4

Exhibit D

1 #5

Exhibit E

1 #6

Civil Cover Sheet

1 #7

Summons

1 #8

Summons

1 #9

Summons

1 #10

Summons

1 #11

Supplement REPORT ON THE FILING OR DETERMINATION OF AN ACTION OR APPEAL REGARDIN

#2

(#2) NOTICE of Appearance by Ginger Dawn Anders on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Anders, Ginger) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

1 More Documents Available
View All Documents

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/29/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#2) NOTICE of Appearance by Ginger Dawn Anders on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Anders, Ginger) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/29/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number ADCDC-9406470) filed by NETFLIX WORLDWIDE ENTERTAINMENT, LLC, NETFLIX STUDIOS, LLC. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A, #2 Exhibit B, #3 Exhibit C, #4 Exhibit D, #5 Exhibit E, #6 Civil Cover Sheet, #7 Summons, #8 Summons, #9 Summons, #10 Summons, #11 Supplement REPORT ON THE FILING OR DETERMINATION OF AN ACTION OR APPEAL REGARDING A COPYRIGHT)(Anders, Ginger) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less