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Chuck Yeager lands favorable ruling in right of publicity claim against AT&T

December 15, 2009 No Comments »
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General Chuck Yeager, known for breaking the sound barrier amongst many other distinctions in his career, has won a ruling against AT&T for the unauthorized use of his right of publicity.  The story at the following link gives a bit more detail, although it also incorrectly characterizes the victory as a ruling that breaking the sound barrier is itself a protectable intellectual property asset.  The better way to analyze the ruling has to do with what I call “unequivocal identifiability.”  If the use creates an unequivocal identification to Chuck Yeager, then there could the making of a viable claim as this example demonstrates:

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