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Jonathan Goins Speaks With Daily Report About Win in Recent Netflix IP Dispute

Atlanta, Ga. (October 12, 2021) - Atlanta Partner and Co-Chair of Lewis Brisbois' Intellectual Property & Technology Group Jonathan D. Goins recently spoke with Daily Report (part of Law.com) for an article about a recent victory he secured on behalf of Netflix in a copyright and trademark infringement case. 

As previously reported, Mr. Goins, working with Atlanta Associate Racquel McGee, represented Netflix in an action brought by a Georgia-based film producer who sued the streaming giant in May of this year over its distribution of a film called Skater Girl. The producer claimed violations of copyright and trademark laws, alleging that the Netflix film, which was filmed, developed, and produced entirely in India, was similar to his own film that had the same title (Sk8r Grrl).

As their film did not have any direct connection to the State of Georgia, Netflix moved to dismiss the case, contending that the court lacked personal jurisdiction and that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The court agreed and granted the motion.

“It's a classic case of civil procedure," Mr. Goins told Daily Report. "It follows a trend of where a lot of cases are going when it comes to suing a corporate entity. You have to sue an entity either where they’re incorporated or where they have a principal place of business. That speaks to general personal jurisdiction.” 

Further explaining the legal theory, Mr. Goins noted that "there must be a correlation or an affiliation between the form and the underlying controversy,” and because the film at issue in this case "was not produced or developed in Georgia ... there’s an uphill battle, procedurally to permit the case to have proceeded.”

In addition to dismissing the case in Georgia court, the judge also ordered the litigation be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. 

“What would have been a surprise to me is if the judge rendered a different ruling … [and] if the case was permitted to proceed,” Mr. Goins said. He also warned of the potential consequences had the ruling gone the other way. 

"To allow the case to proceed here, even though the film was not even produced or distributed here, would be a shock to the whole media and entertainment industry," said Mr. Goins. "Any media entertainment company that operates TV and film productions, even if the film’s not produced in a particular state, you’re then saying you can sue them in any of the 50 states throughout the entire country.”

With over 18 years of experience, Mr. Goins serves as lead counsel in IP litigation across the country, including “bet the company” cases with multimillion-dollar exposure. He is consistently ranked in peer-recognitions and publications for his expertise in intellectual property, including being named among the world’s leading trademark professionals for the fourth consecutive year in the annual edition of the World Trademark Review (WTR) 1000

You can read the full Daily Report article here (subscription may be required). 


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