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FOOTNOTES / JAMES BATES

A Lawyerly Fight Over Briefs

November 14, 1994|JAMES BATES

To the family of the late actor James Dean, Korean comedian and businessman Buyng Jin Joo is something of a rebel without a clause.

What representatives of Dean's family claim Joo lacks is any kind of written agreement authorizing the maverick businessman to sell his "James Dean" brand underwear in Korea through a chain of "James Dean" stores.

So Curtis Management Group, a company that represents a number of families and estates of dead Hollywood stars, filed an unfair competition lawsuit in Korea.

It also filed an action with the Korean agency handling trademark disputes.

Joo responded earlier this month with an ad in a Korean newspaper saying his company "could not help but laugh at such a request" when Curtis demanded royalty fees. He also argued that the company is authorized to use the trademark.

Switch Hitting?

Has Mickey Mantle been striking out or hitting them over the fence in the sports memorabilia business?

The Hall of Fame baseball star recently sued memorabilia firm Upper Deck Co., claiming that the company is trying to lower its payments to him.

The former Yankee great says Carlsbad-based Upper Deck is refusing to abide by his 1992 contract with the firm because company officials believe Mantle's marketability diminished when he went through alcohol rehabilitation earlier this year and publicly admitted his problem.

Ironically, Upper Deck and a telephone card company two weeks ago sent out a joint announcement boasting that Mantle "set another all-time record" when a set of prepaid telephone calling cards featuring Mantle and his career highlights sold out in just 10 days.

The cards, the hyperbolic announcement said, "sold out in unprecedented time!"

A Bill To Never Forget

The entertainment industry's Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers public affairs coalition recently put out an analysis of its legislative victories, including one rather unusual one.

The bill was Assembly Bill 1000, which was opposed by the industry and didn't get very far in the Legislature. At issue was "elephant chaining."

The bill would have made it a misdemeanor to chain an elephant for more than two hours during a 24-hour period. The coalition argued that Department of Fish and Game officials believe it is safe and humane to restrain elephants longer.

According to the alliance, it opposed the bill because "chaining elephants is necessary while filming on location, and in the winter when elephants must be confined to a barn to protect them from cold weather."

Briefly. . .

A recent study for the Audit Bureau of Circulations said 51.8% of Americans surveyed have never heard the term "information superhighway" despite all the hype. . .Where are they now?: Robert Allen, one of the leading get-rich-quick real estate promoters in the 1980s, is helping pitch a fitness product called "Gym in a Can."

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