John Kirby (attorney)

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John J. Kirby, Jr. is an American attorney who was employed by the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP until June 30, 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, among which the likes of PepsiCo., General Foods, and Warner-Lambert.[1] 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.

In thanks for aiding them, Nintendo gave Mr. Kirby a $30,000 sailboat christened the Donkey Kong along with "exclusive worldwide rights to use the name for sailboats."[2] Shigeru Miyamoto also stated that the name of the character Kirby was chosen in honor of John Kirby. [3] It is rumored that a copy of the game was eventually sent to John Kirby who was humored and flattered.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sheff 122.
  2. ^ Sheff, David (1999). Game Over: Press Start to Continue: The Maturing of Mario. Wilton, Connecticut: GamePress. 
  3. ^ Zablotny, Marc (September 20, 2012). "How did your favourite Nintendo characters get their names?". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ "HAL Laboratory: Company Profile". N-Sider.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 

References[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]