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Desilu lawsuit highlights relevance of historic IP

Texas entrepreneurs may often find that their intellectual property can be the most valuable part of their enterprise. From the trade name and logo of a business with high levels of goodwill, to the information systems that power a tech business, IP issues can be decisive in a business's success or failure. In addition, historical intellectual property can be particularly important, both for the current value of the income it produces as well as the positive associations that it is able to create.

Desilu Studios is one such example. The company was originally created by classic stars Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, and it produced famous television shows like "I Love Lucy," "The Lucy Show" and even "Star Trek." After Ball bought the company for herself, she sold it to Gulf & Western Industries, which later became Paramount Pictures. Later on, the Desilu company was dissolved and integrated into Paramount, which then became part of CBS upon its acquisition of Paramount's television properties.

However, in 2013, one man in California decided to refound and relaunch Desilu Studios as a company based on new media and technology. The new Desilu company filed a trademark application that went unopposed, which was approved in January 2018. Desilu has initiated business litigation against CBS for using the Desilu name, claiming that it could cause confusion. Desilu argues that CBS is infringing its trademark and has disrupted its business activities, including consultations with the descendants of Ball and Arnaz.

Whether a trademark is newly developed or an old classic, protecting it can be critical to maintaining it in the future. Business owners who are concerned about how best to protect their intellectual property should consider a consult with a business litigation attorney. A lawyer can help handle IP litigation as well as necessary registrations, updates and paperwork to ensure that a company's intellectual creations are protected as securely as possible.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "'I Love Lucy' Film Company Sues CBS Over Trademark Infringement," Martin Macias Jr., April 9, 2018

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