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Judge Dismisses Falcon Foto’s State Law Claims Against Porn Kings

Judge Dismisses Falcon Foto’s State Law Claims Against Porn Kings
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Mar 7, 2007 2:30 PM PST    Text size: 
SEATTLE — U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik has granted a motion to dismiss Falcon Foto’s state claims against Porn Kings.

Judge Lasnik ruled that Falcon’s state law claims of unjust enrichment, tortuous interference, unfair competition, accounting and constructive trust were preempted by the federal Copyright Act. The suit’s copyright claims will still move forward.

The multimillion-dollar lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleges that the owners of Porn Kings, dba for Lucas Bradfield’s Nobel Developments, infringed on Falcon Foto’s rights by using Falcon images on websites and free hosted galleries without a license.

Porn Kings’ attorney Venkat Balusubramani told XBIZ that while the dismissal of state law claims is a positive development for his client, he wouldn’t infer much from the judge’s ruling.

“The ruling shows that the judge is fair and will take a good look at Falcon’s claims,” Balusubramani said. “[However], it seemed like Falcon didn’t make terribly strong arguments with respect to the state law claims. This may cast some doubt on the strength of their other claims as well.”

Balusubramani said that the federal case is in discovery for another three to four months, and he will consider asking the judge for a summary judgment in lieu of a jury trial.

“It’s my understanding that when you bring a federal action you have to bring all of your claims,” Tucker told XBIZ. “These state claims were considered a throwaway in our federal suit, but if for some reason our federal suit gets dismissed, we can go back and file the state claims.”

Tucker said he looks forward to a settlement with Porn Kings and that both sides are talking behind the scenes in order to resolve the suit.

“The dismissal of the state claims doesn’t impact the real substance of our case,” Falcon’s attorney Robert Apgood told XBIZ.

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