Adverse Administrative and Judicial Determinations
Opposing the Dolezal Assignment
Aggressively Enforced for Years Against
Law Says Lousy Dolezal Deal Never Gave Dolezals Rights
to Restrict Jordan Maxwell's Speech and Appearances,
Nor Use of His Name
From: Singleton, Rudy (Examining Attorney — US Trademark Office)
Sent: 10/26/2014 9:14:54 PM
To: TTAB (Trademark Trial and Appeal Board) EFiling
Subject: U.S. TRADEMARK APPLICATION NO. 85826122 — JORDAN MAXWELL — N/A — EXAMINER BRIEF
US TRADEMARK OFFICE EXAMINER'S STATEMENT: "There are no provisions in the Assignment of Intellectual Property document where the assignor [Maxwell] expressly states that the name JORDAN MAXWELL would be the property of the applicant [Dolezal]. Neither did the assignor agree to refrain from use of the name 'Jordan Maxwell' in any subsequent business endeavors."
Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge William D. Stewart, SEARCH for Case #: EC063466 (Dolezal $10,000,000+ defamation case against Jordan Maxwell), Notice of Ruling, Friday, 15-April-2016:
Judge Stewart: "The Cross-Defendants [Dolezals] also argue that they had the right to use the Cross-Complaintant's [Maxwell] image under a 2010 assignment. A copy of this assignment is attached as an untabbed exhibit to the opposition papers. This 2010 assignment transferred the intellectual property owned by the Cross-Complaintant, Jordan Maxwell, in 2010. IT IS NOT EVIDENCE that the Cross-Complaintant CONSENTED to the use of HIS voice, name, and likeness in the sale of a videotaped deposition that occurred in 2015."
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, U.S. District Judge George H. King, federal case number 2:14-cv-04799-GHK-AS, Order re: Cross-Motions for Partial Summary Judgment, Thursday, 20-October-2016:
District Judge King: "In essence, Defendants [Dolezals] argue that because Momentum owns the copyrights to the 'Jordan Maxwell' name and persona, and because Momentum did not consent to Gill's [producer of the Jordan Maxwell Show] use of the 'Jordan Maxwell' name and persona in the Show, Gill cannot own a valid copyright in the Show.
This argument hinges on the assumption that Momentum in fact owns the copyrights to the alleged 'Jordan Maxwell' name and persona. But this assumption is completely unsupported. As a matter of law, Momentum cannot hold a copyright interest in the 'Jordan Maxwell' name because a name is not copyrightable. 37 C.F.R. § 202.1 (names are not subject to copyright). As for rights to a 'Jordan Maxwell' character, '[a real] persons's name or likeness is not a work of authorship' subject to copyright protection. Downing v. Abercrombie & Fitch, 265 F.3d 994, 1003-04 (9th Cir. 2001) (holding that a person's name and likeness are not copyrightable). However, a fictional character who is 'especially distinctive' may be copyrightable. See DC Comics v. Towle, 802 F.3d 1012, 1019 (9th Cir. 2015) (noting that 'especially distinctive' characters are copyrightable). Defendants [Dolezals] claim that 'Russell Pine created [the] fake name [Jordan Maxwell] for the purpose of inventing the Jordan Maxwell character for telling stories and fables related to the occult in an effort to profit from the pseudo name and character's eventual notoriety and popularity.' (Jt. Br. at 6.) However, Defendants [Dolezals] cite no admissible evidence to support the contention that 'Jordan Maxwell' is a fictional character deserving copyright protection. Accordingly, they [Dolezals] have not demonstrated that the Show infringes any claimed copyrights to the alleged 'Jordan Maxwell' name and persona.
Defendants [Dolezals] also contend that the Show is an infringing derivative work because the Deal Memo between Gill [Show producer] and Maxwell states that the Show will 'featur[e] the works of Researcher/Author Jordan Maxwell.' (Deal Memo at 1.) Because the Show will feature Maxwell's 'works,' and because Momentum owns Maxwell's intellectual property via the Assignment, the Show must be an infringing derivative work. But Defendants [Dolezals] have not demonstrated that any of the works covered by the Assignment were used in the creation of the Show. Their argument amounts to little more than speculation that the Show is an infringing derivative work. Such a conclusory, unsupported argument is insufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact that defeats summary judgment."
"To prove copying, a plaintiff [Gill, producer of the Jordan Maxwell Show] must advance either direct evidence of copying or circumstantial evidence showing (1) that a defendant [the Dolezals] had access to the plaintiff's work and (2) that the two works are substantially similar. Smith v. Jackson, 84 F.3d 1213, 1218 (9th Cir. 1996). Here, there is no dispute that Momentum (through Dolezal) offered the first twenty-four episodes of the Show [the Jordan Maxwell Show] for sale on its website. In a deposition given on behalf of Momentum, Dolezal admitted that he copied these episodes by downloading them from Gill's [producer of the Jordan Maxwell Show] website, jordanmaxwellshow.com, and offering them for sale on Momentum's website, jordanmaxwell.com. This is direct evidence of copying. Because Gill has shown that he owns a valid copyright in the episodes of the Show and that Momentum copied the episodes by placing them for sale on its website, Gill has demonstrated that Momentum infringed his copyrights in the Show. See 17 U.S.C. § 106(3) (copyright owner has exclusive right to 'distribute copies . . . of the copyrighted work . . . by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending'); id. § 501(a) ('[A]nyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner . . . is an infringer of the copyright or right of the author[.]'). On the evidence before us, no reasonable juror could conclude that Momentum did not infringe Gill's copyright in the Show. Gill's motion for summary judgment against Momentum [the Dolezals] on his copyright infringement claim is GRANTED."