Firm pushes back in FEAR THE WALKING DEAD dispute

November 30, 2018 – Firm partner David Given and associate Jake Feaver today filed papers opposing defendants’ effort to convince federal district court judge Lucy H. Koh to dismiss client Mel Smith’s copyright infringement claim against the creators of the hit AMC-TV series FEAR THE WALKING DEAD.  Mr. Smith’s complaint alleges that executive producers Robert Kirkman (the COO of his publisher, Image Comics) and David Alpert (his motion picture and television agent) had direct access to Smith’s three-part comic book series DEAD AHEAD and borrowed liberally from it in developing the spin-off to their smash television series THE WALKING DEAD.  In opposing defendants’ motion to dismiss, Mr. Smith argued that the two works bore many similarities sufficient to allow the case for infringement to proceed, and that defendants’ arguments to the contrary were factual, not legal, in nature.  Discovery in the case is underway.  Judge Koh has set a hearing on defendants’ motion for Jan. 17th.