gravityA judge has ruled that author Tess Gerritsen will be allowed to re-file her complaint against Warner Bros Studios for breach of contract with new evidence.  Gerritsen claims that the production company’s 2013 blockbuster and Oscar award winning film Gravity is based on her book by the same name.

The writer claims to have had a contract with Katja Motion Picture Corp, which was a subsidiary of a production company that was purchased by Warner Bros in 2008.  The contract specified up front money, production bonuses and a percentage of the film’s box office draw.  Gerritsen is seeking more than ten million dollars from Warner Bros for breach of that contract.

While on the surface it seems as though the author has a very strong case, there are a few details that call her claim into question.  Among those is a written comment from the author on her own website from 2013 where she claims that the movie was not based on her book.

Like many other entertainment lawsuits, this one could be particularly hard for the author to cash in on.  She has no contract signed with the production company she is suing, while there are striking similarities between the novel and the film, the film doesn’t seem to directly follow the written story and the production company has the written ammunition directly from the plaintiff, published in the public forum of her website declaring their innocence.  If there is evidence of the original contract though and the author’s legal team can prove that Warner Bros had knowledge of it and access to the written work, the production company might have to pay up.

If you feel as though a third party has used your art, written word or intellectual property to profit without your permission or without proper payment you should contact a lawyer immediately.  An experienced entertainment attorney can evaluate your claim against the third party’s actions to determine any wrongdoing and fight to get you and payment you may be owed due to breach of contract or copyright infringement.

AXIS Legal Counsel represents entertainment clients in a variety of intellectual property disputes, including unlawful sampling, infringement, violations of name, likeness, and image, trademark, copyright, and rights to publicity. Whether it involves agents, managers, talent, musicians, artists, visual artists, producers, filmmakers, directors, photographers, actors/actresses, models, writers, authors, filmmakers, composers, television, singers, songwriters, publishers, or technical talent, AXIS Legal Counsel offers strong representation to all those within the entertainment industry.  Rabeh M. A. Soofi, managing attorney of AXIS is ranked as one of the “Top Women Lawyers of Southern California” by SuperLawyers Rising Stars, and is a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer representing entertainment clients with numerous types of legal matters. AXIS Legal Counsel offers aggressive representation to copyright, trademark, patent, and other intellectual property rights holders involved in infringement or intellectual property disputes, whether connected to the entertainment industry or technology sector. AXIS assists clients in applying for intellectual property protection as well as litigating disputes, including copyright litigation, copyright lawsuits, non-solicit agreements, non-competes, trade secrets, cyberlaw, intellectual property, and others. Axis’ managing attorney Rabeh M. A. Soofi is ranked as one of the “Top Women Lawyers of Southern California” by SuperLawyers Rising Stars, and counsels clients in need of a Los Angeles Intellectual Property Attorney for copyright and copyright disputes.

For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel for legal advice on any entertainment matter, contact or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation about your legal issue, or visit our Individual Privacy Rights Practice Area or Entertainment Portal for more information.

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