Update: LeBron Seeks to Dismiss Infringement Suit
As we have previously covered, LeBron James became the target of an infringement suit in April 2018, after a barbershop owner and host of a University of Alabama talk show alleged that he copied his barbershop-themed show. James’ show, “The Shop”, and the Social Club Grooming Co.’s show, “Shop Talk”, respectively, are comparably themed, and each center on interviewing celebrity guests as they get haircuts.
Though the Social Club (the d/b/a of plaintiff, Adventure Enterprises, Inc.) initiated the suit, the ball was first put into motion by James. When James discovered the existence of the strikingly similar show, he sent a stern letter to the university, putting it on notice that he and his multimedia company, Uninterrupted Digital Ventures, LLC, planned to further inquire the origination of “Shop Talk” to determine whether there were signs of infringement. Soon after, the Social Club filed suit, naming James and Uninterrupted as defendants, along with James’ business associates, Maverick Carter and Cree Nix. The suit alleged that James and the other defendants infringed the Social Club’s intellectual property rights, engaged in unfair competition, engaged in false advertising and misappropriation, conspired, and were unjustly enriched.
On June 8, 2018, James filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. In his motion, James contended that the Michigan court lacked personal jurisdiction over Carter and Nix, who are both Ohio residents. In the alternative, James argued that the Social Club failed to state a proper claim, as its assertions were factually insufficient, conclusory, and not legally cognizable.