John Kirby (attorney)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (February 2013)|
John J. Kirby, Jr. is an American attorney who was employed by the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP until June 30th, 2007 where he served as head of the New York office's Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group and chairman of the New York Litigation Department from 1995 to 2004. Kirby has represented a number of notable corporations in legal disputes. One of his most well-known cases was Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. In this case, he defended Nintendo against litigation from Universal City Studios in a dispute revolving around the video game Donkey Kong, which Universal claimed to be illegally based on King Kong. Kirby won the case, a landmark victory for Nintendo, by presenting evidence that Universal had previously won a legal battle against RKO that stated the story and characters of King Kong were in the public domain; thus, Universal had no legal right to claim ownership of the characters and basic scenario (man rescuing a woman from a large ape) when the studio originally threatened legal action against Nintendo.
It is believed that the popular Nintendo character Kirby was named in his honor, however the original creator, Masahiro Sakurai, claims he does not remember how the name "Kirby" came to be. Kirby also has exclusive rights to use the name "Donkey Kong" for sailboats.
- Sheff, David (1999). Game Over: Press Start to Continue: The Maturing of Mario. Wilton, Connecticut: Gamepress. Page 126
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. New York City: Three Rivers Press.
- Sheff, David (1999). Game Over: Press Start to Continue: The Maturing of Mario. Wilton, Connecticut: GamePress.
- United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (4 October 1984). Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (15 July 1986). Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd.
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