Lionsgate Entertainment Wins Trademark Suit over the Movie ‘50/50’
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

On Thursday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that the title of the movie ‘50/50’ created no confusion with the trademark of the rap duo Phifty-50.

The proprietor of Phifty-50, the Eastland Music Group, had sued Lionsgate Entertainment, which had produced the film depicting a young man’s battle with cancer. Eastland claimed a trademark for the phrase ‘50/50’ and sued.

The five-page opinion of the 7th Circuit upheld the earlier decision of the federal district court to dismiss the lawsuit. In his decision given earlier, U.S. District Judge George Lindberg had taken Rogers v. Grimaldi as the standard of review and held that the title of an artistic work can cause a trademark infringement only if it didn’t have any artistic significance or deliberately misled about the source of the work.


Lindsberg found that the title “50/50” had full artistic relevance to the plot of the film in reference to the chance of survival of the main character –a cancer patient.

Writing for the appeals court Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote the “complaint fails at the threshold: it does not allege that the use of ‘50/50’ as a title caused any confusion about the film’s source.”

The judge also commented that no moviegoer would think the jeweler Tiffany & Co was the source of the movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and no consumer would ordinarily think that the rap group was the source of the film.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

The appeals court also cited at least eight other films with the phrase ‘50/50’ or a variant in its title and that if there were “any prospect of intellectual property in the phrase ‘50/50’” then the music company was a “a very junior user and in no position to complain.”

The case is Eastland Music Group v. Lionsgate Entertainment, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, No. 12-2928.



Corporate and Federal Taxation Attorney

USA-NC-Winston Salem

Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC is currently seeking an experienced corporate and federal taxation att...

Apply now

Associate Principal Data Analyst, Data Privacy


The Data Privacy & Protection Office (the Privacy Office) is responsible for ensuring that FINRA mee...

Apply now

Principal Counsel, Ethics


The Ethics / Code of Conduct Office (the Ethics Office) is responsible for ensuring that FINRA execu...

Apply now

Associate General Counsel, Labor & Employment


The Associate General Counsel, Labor and Employment provides legal counseling to the company on empl...

Apply now




Search Now

Family Law and Estate Planning Attorney


Nashua office of our client seeks family law and estate planning attorney with 3-10 years of experie...

Apply Now

Civil Defense Attorney


Waukesha office of our client seeks civil defense attorney preferably with 7 years of litigation exp...

Apply Now

Senior Litigation Associate Attorney


Atlanta office of our client seeks senior litigation associate attorney with 8+ years of experience ...

Apply Now

Most Popular


To Top