Question

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was a phenomenal success as a television series. The Power Rangers battled to save the universe from all sorts of diabolical plots and bad guys. They were also featured in a profitable line of toys and garments bearing the Power Rangers logo. The name and logo of the Power Rangers are known to millions of children and their parents worldwide. The claim of ownership of the logo for the Power Rangers ended up in a battle in a courtroom.
David Dees is a designer who works as d. b. a. David Dees Illustration. Saban Entertainment, Inc. (Saban), which owns the copyright and trademark to Power Rangers figures and the name “Power Ranger,” hired Dees as an independent contractor to design a logo for the Power Rangers. The contract signed by the parties was titled “Work for Hire/ Independent Contractor Agreement.” The contract was drafted by Saban with the help of its attorneys; Dees signed the agreement without the representation of legal counsel.
Dees designed the logo currently used for the Power Rangers and was paid $ 250 to transfer his copyright ownership in the logo. Subsequently, Dees sued Saban to recover damages for copyright and trademark infringement. Saban defended, arguing that Dees was bound by the agreement he had signed. What does the adage “A contract is a contract is a contract” mean? Does the doctrine of equity save Dees from his contract? Does Saban owe an ethical duty to pay Dees more money now that the Power Rangers is a successful brand? Is Dees bound by the contract? Dees, d/ b/ a David Dees Illustration v. Saban Entertainment, Inc., 131 F. 3d 146, 1997 U. S. App. Lexis 39173 (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)


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  • CreatedAugust 12, 2015
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