In any business dispute there is usually more than one way in which it can be resolved. While some cases end up in a courtroom where the outcome will be determined by a judge or jury, other times, lawyers for either side are able to reach an agreement outside of the court. This was the case in a disagreement involving the popular hip-hop group Beastie Boys, and a toy company called GoldieBlox.
The crux of the disagreement the parties faced is a commercial GoldieBlox released before the holidays for its female targeted science, technology and engineering toys. The commercial featured a version of a well-known Beastie Boys song, “Girls.” Following the creation of the commercial, GoldieBlox sought to secure its use, by suing the group and its record label claiming the version of the song was a parody and therefore was not a copyright violation. The Beastie Boys responded with a lawsuit of their own, alleging trademark and copyright infringement.
Earlier this month the incident was dismissed by a federal judge with prejudice. That dismissal was the result of the parties reaching an agreement. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
For many businesses, when possible, resolving a lawsuit in this manner is the desired approach. This is because a long drawn out trial is usually very expensive both in time as well as money. As the settlement was not made public, it is hard to know exactly why this route of dispute resolution was selected. It is likely however that both sides are pleased that the matter is settled.
Source: Business Insurance, “OFF BEAT: Beastie Boys, toy company settle dueling disputes over ‘Girls’,” March 18, 2014