Diller versus Driller: Round One to Barry Diller

Barry Diller, the former Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures Corp and of Fox, and the current Chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, a backer of start-up Internet streaming service Aereo, has won the first stage of a legal battle against Alki David-backed BarryDriller.com.

A California District court has granted a preliminary injunction against David’s service from continuing to use the name ‘Barry Driller’ to market its own Internet streaming service competing with Diller’s Aereo.

Diller sued David and his related companies for false endorsement under the Lanham Act and for state law violations of plaintiff’s right of publicity and sought a preliminary injunction to stop defendants from using the name ‘Barry Driller’ in connection with their service.

The District Court found that Diller was likely to succeed on the merits of his claims because the defendants’ use of the name ‘Barry Driller’ created a strong likelihood of confusion, with the plaintiff’s name judged to be well-known, especially among entertainment- and tech-savvy consumers.

Because the defendants’ continued use of the name ‘Barry Driller’ created a likelihood of irreparable harm, and the balance of hardships and public interest factors weighed decisively in the plaintiff’s favour, the court ordered the defendants to cease using the name ‘Barry Driller’ in connection with their Internet service.

Both services are the subject of ongoing legal actions from US broadcasters, who claim copyright violations.

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