Elvis Presley Enterprises Takes Legal Action Against Alleged Global Bootleg Ring

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Wins summary judgement in separate trademark infringement case

Elvis Presley Enterprises will not tolerate infringement of our intellectual property rights, whether it's part of the production, sale and distribution of bootleg merchandise, use in advertising...

Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., long seen as a leader in the creation of legislation to protect the intellectual property rights belonging to deceased celebrities, has undertaken legal action to show the company’s dedication to protecting its own intellectual properties relating to Elvis Presley.

EPE recently took the steps necessary to stop the commercial sale and distribution of a DVD/CD set which included recordings and audiovisual footage of Elvis Presley concert performances. Working with a team of investigators across three continents, EPE was able to track down the individuals they believe to be behind the release and distribution of the box set.

As of today, EPE has begun action in the Chancery Division of the High Court, England and Wales (HC11C00183), against Joseph Pirzada, the alleged source of the infringing materials in the box set. On an order from the High Court, on January 25, 2011, EPE lawyers and computer experts were authorized to search Mr. Pirzada's home for evidence of the sale and distribution of the box set. The evidence uncovered led to the filing of a lawsuit against Mr. Pirzada for copyright infringement.

On February 2, 2011, EPE also filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Northern District of Florida (CA 4:11cv50-SPM/WCS), against Bud Glass, an Elvis Presley memorabilia collector, for the alleged illegal sale and distribution of the box set in the United States.

EPE is currently reviewing the evidence and considering filing additional lawsuits against other individuals responsible for the manufacture, sale, and release of this particular box set as well as other bootleg recordings and merchandise.

“Elvis Presley Enterprises will not tolerate infringement of our intellectual property rights, whether it's part of the production, sale and distribution of bootleg merchandise, use in advertising, or in connection with the illegal distribution of bootleg DVDs and CDs,” said Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

On February 1, 2011, Elvis Presley Enterprises was also awarded summary judgment against Agostino Carollo (DJ Spankox) in the Chancery Division of the High Court, England and Wales (HC09C04771).

The court documents stated that Mr. Carollo requested permission from EPE in 2009 to create a remix album of Elvis Presley Christmas classics. While the parties had entered into an agreement in 2008 with respect to Mr. Agostino's first album of Elvis Presley remixes and a follow-up album, EPE advised Mr. Carollo in 2009 that it would not support nor endorse such a Christmas remix album. Nevertheless, as stated in the case, Mr. Carollo released the Christmas remix album which included EPE's trademarks, logos, and photographs

In June 2010, EPE sued Mr. Carollo for “breach of their previous contracts, trademark infringement and passing off.” On February 1, 2011, the Chancery Division of the High Court, England and Wales agreed with Elvis Presley Enterprises' legal arguments and awarded EPE a summary judgment. As part of this summary judgment order, Mr. Carollo is restrained from continuing to infringe EPE's trademarks and ordered to pay to EPE monetary damages and attorney's fees.

In house counsel for Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. was assisted by Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP in this litigation.

EPE's business extends far beyond the operation of tours at Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion in Memphis. It includes worldwide licensing of Elvis-related products and ventures; the development of Elvis-related music, film, video, television and stage productions; the ongoing development of Elvis’ internet presence with the official site elvis.com and social media sites; the management of significant music publishing assets and more.

About Elvis Presley Enterprises
Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. is based in Memphis, with additional offices in Los Angeles. In addition to Graceland and its related attractions in Memphis, including the Heartbreak Hotel, EPE is aggressively involved in a worldwide licensing program, merchandising, music publishing, and television, film, video and Internet projects. For more information on EPE and Graceland, visit http://www.elvis.com. EPE is a subsidiary of CKX, Inc. (http://www.ckx.com), a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ Global Market® under the ticker symbol CKXE.

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Kevin Kern
Elvis Presley Enterprises
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