Directors and Producers especially Sam Raimi should be careful when they say they’ll never to do a sequel to a beloved franchise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sam Raimi and Renaissance Pictures is suing Award Pictures for objecting to their trademark registration. Award Pictures is alleging that since Sam said he would not do another Evil Dead movie, he abandoned the franchise.
“This statement is a public declaration by the defendant that the defendant abandoned the alleged ‘mark,’ Evil Dead, decades ago,” says Award Pictures in papers to the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Award Pictures goes on to say that even if Evil Dead was a valid mark upon the release of the first film, the sequels can’t be counted as continued use because they were both “works for hire” and “single works.” Additionally, the company points to 20 other motion pictures that have used “Evil Dead” within their title over the years, saying that Renaissance has exhibited “uncontrolled, unregulated, and undefended use of Evil Dead.” Finally, Award says Renaissance’s purported trademark claims constitute a defrauding of others in the entertainment industry.
Earlier this week, Renaissance struck back with a lawsuit against Award Pictures, saying it indeed has used its mark, for example licensing Evil Dead video games, dolls, clothing, memorabilia, comic books, etc.
According to the lawsuit, “As a result of Renaissance’s use of the EVIL DEAD mark and the cult success of the films and related products, the EVIL DEAD mark has acquired enormous value, has become famous among the relevant consuming public and motion picture trade, and is recognized as identifying and distinguishing Renaissance exclusively and uniquely as the source of goods sold and services provided under the EVIL DEAD mark.”