updated 09:05 am EDT, Thu August 3, 2006
Rockstar v. Play Pen
Cementing its reputation as perhaps one of the most frequently sued companies in history, Rockstar Games recently found itself on the end of a lawsuit from E.S.S. Entertainment, owners of a Los Angeles strip club called The Play Pen. E.S.S. was alleging that a mock version of the club in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, named The Pig Pen, was an infringement of their trademark. Indeed, the awnings, logos and "totally nude" phrasings in front of each club are similar. But US District Court Judge Margaret Morrow ruled in favour of Rockstar last week, saying that "Any visual work that seeks to offer an artistic commentary on a particular subject must use identifiable features of that subject so that the commentary will be understood and appreciated by the consumer." Moreover, she did not think consumers could be so easily misled by The Pig Pen.