U.S. Court of Appeals upholds rulings dismissing Princess Diana fund's lawsuit against Franklin Mint
Franklin Center, Pennsylvania -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a unanimous opinion today affirming three lower court decisions dismissing the lawsuit filed against The Franklin Mint by the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and Princess Diana's Estate, which had unsuccessfully challenged the Mint's right to market Princess Diana collectibles.
The ruling upheld a September 14, 2000, decision by Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissing the Diana Fund's claims of false endorsement. The Fund did not appeal a lower court's ruling that Franklin Mint had not engaged in false advertising or trademark dilution.
The lower court had earlier dismissed the Diana Fund's claim that The Franklin Mint had violated California "right of publicity" laws on the grounds that Princess Diana was a British resident and Britain has no such laws of its own. The Court of Appeals also affirmed the lower court's denial of the Diana Fund's motion to reinstate this claim.
In addition, the Court of Appeals upheld Judge Cooper's decision that The Franklin Mint was entitled to recover from the Diana Fund the $2.3 million in legal fees it incurred in defending itself.
In response to today's ruling, the Franklin Mint issued the following statement:
Obviously, we're pleased that the U.S. Court of Appeals has vindicated us completely with a unanimous decision upholding three previous trial-court decisions. From the time this lawsuit was first filed against us, we have been confident that we would prevail. The fact is, we would never do anything to harm Princess Diana's image. Moreover, we have always been in full compliance with all applicable laws.
The Franklin Mint remains committed to honouring the memory of Princess Diana by raising money for her favourite causes.
For further information, please contact Allan Mayer of Sitrick And Company, +1-310-788-2850, for The Franklin Mint.
SOURCE Franklin Mint
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