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Culture Sony files suit against Fort Worth sports bar

Sony files suit against Fort Worth sports bar

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Sony Pictures is taking exception to Rick’s Cabaret International’s sports-themed restaurant in Fort Worth known as Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon & Restaurant, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The studio behind the 2006 Will Ferrell film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby filed a trademark lawsuit in Texas federal court, according to the entertainment trade magazine. In the suit, Sony demands an injunction, profits from the restaurants and other punitive and exemplary damages.

Sony says that the restaurant and its name threatens the continued success of the film franchise, which continues to bring in revenue through repeats on cable. The lawsuit, filed in Houston, where Rick’s Cabaret is based, says Sony generates about $3.45 million annually from broadcast television licensing of the film. According to the lawsuit: “The Establishment [Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon] features television screens, live music and other events. At the Establishment, waitresses are known as ‘Smokin’ Hotties’ (a direct reference to the wife of the Picture’s fictional Ricky Bobby character, who repeatedly refers to his spouse as his ‘Smokin’ Hot Wife’).” Rick’s Cabaret, which has several locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, had no comment on the suit.  

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