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.



Criminal Defense Attorney Position - Experience Required

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Busy criminal defense firm looking for an experienced criminal defense associate who can manage othe...

Apply now

Estate Planning Attorney

USA-CA-Rancho Cucamonga

Job Details Full-time | Part-time$45 - $50 an hour Heather Lynn Law, APC www.heatherlynnlaw...

Apply now

Chief Counsel, Securities and Public Company Matters

USA-NY-New York City

Transfix, named to Forbes’ “Next Billion-Dollar Startups” list, is the leading tra...

Apply now

Immigration Attorney

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Immigration Attorney Job Description El Rescate is a non-profit agency that provides legal immig...

Apply now




Search Now

Liability Defense Attorney

USA-FL-Fort Lauderdale

Ft. Lauderdale office of our client seeks liability defense attorney with 3+ years of insurance defe...

Apply Now

Senior Family Law Associate Attorney


Murrieta office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks senior family law associate attor...

Apply Now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks litigation associate attorne...

Apply Now

Most Popular


To Top