Professional Collector Gains Right To Sell Merchandise From The Vaults of Hyperion Pictures

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eBay restrictions lifted after legal battle won by Peter Law Group.

"I am so happy that the law really does work and applies to everyone rich or poor"

After one year of jousting with a prominent Hollywood production company, unknown collector, John Chong, represented by Peter Law Group, wins a key legal victory is his quest to share his trove of Hollywood memorabilia with anxious patrons on eBay (case number 468285; County of Los Angeles).

Almost a year ago, Chong purchased the contents of storage unit C011 at a Public Storage auction in Los Angeles, California. Chong, who often purchases the contents of storage units, sight unseen, was the successful bidder on a mystery unit that was apparently abandoned and auctioned away as a result of an unpaid storage bill. As described in Chong's complaint, filed August 23, 2011, he discovered a trove of Hollywood memorabilia belonging to the iconic Hyperion Pictures. Hyperion, owned jointly by Tom Wilhite, former head of motion picture and television production at Walt Disney Studios, and Willard Carroll, prominent writer, producer and director, attempted to stop Chong from selling his newfound treasure on eBay. The collection purchased by Chong included movie props from the original Wizard of Oz, entertainment industry awards, signed scripts and vintage movie posters. Chong’s valuation expert put the value of the entire collection in the millions of dollars.

When Chong tried to sell the items online, Wilhite and Carroll filed legal challenges with eBay which, under its policies, immediately suspended Chong’s account. Chong retained the prominent entertainment and intellectual property boutique law firm, Peter Law Group, to unlock the doors of his virtual eBay store, which, since Chong’s legal victory, has become a magnet for hungry memorabilia collectors across the world. The firm has also worked with other collectors, including holders of a set of rare Norman Rockwell photographs, and a collector who discovered a trove of glass negatives thought by some to have been created by iconic photographer, Ansel Adams. In a case of first impression, Peter Law Group filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court (case number 468285; County of Los Angeles). The court recently issued its judgment with a permanent injunction granted January 24th, 2012, in which it determined that neither Hyperion, nor anyone acting on its behalf, had any rights to the memorabilia in question. This legal triumph opened the door to a new chapter in Chong’s collecting repertoire.

As the underdog, Chong stated, ”I am so happy that the law really does work and applies to everyone rich or poor.” In finding in Chong’s favor, the court expressly determined that it was wrong for Hyperion to file claims with eBay. The sale of collectibles is Chong’s primary source of income and the eBay challenges were a direct hindrance and threat to his livelihood. Along with the decision on the merits, the court awarded costs and attorneys fees to Chong.

To find Chong’s complete collection online, please visit eBay and search for the seller teak2010.

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Samantha Herman

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