Lawyers Are Fighting Over a Hologram of Poor Dead Marilyn Monroe

Illustration for article titled Lawyers Are Fighting Over a Hologram of Poor Dead Marilyn Monroe

Here is your surreal legal fight of the day: "Virtual Marilyn LLC," a company which owns " a computer-generated virtual actress adopting the persona of Marilyn Monroe," is suing The Estate of Marilyn Monroe, essentially demanding they shove off and quit interfering with their hologram.


I believe I feel a headache coming on!

That's according to the Hollywood Reporter. See, Marilyn Monroe's estate make a shitload of money on licensing every year—as much as $30 million. (All those dorm-room posters!) And they loathe the idea of somebody else coming along and creating some Tupac-like hologram. Which is essentially what Virtual Marilyn wants to do, which is why the estate has been trying to block their mad science project for a couple of years now. So Virtual Marilyn is striking back:

According to the new lawsuit, Monroe's estate has conveyed word that "use of Marilyn Monroe's identity and persona without the Monroe Estate's prior authorization constitutes unfair competition and false designation of origin" — claims grounded in the Lanham Act — and that its adversary couldn't use or license "marks, names, logos, designs, avatars, or the like."

So, without getting too far into the legal weeds here, they filed suit asking the courts to rule that the Estate's claims are bullshit, basically. It's worth noting that Virtual Marilyn isn't attempting to break The Estate of Marilyn Monroe's grip on Marilyn (feels like I'm going to Beetlejuice the poor woman at any moment) for anybody's benefit but their own:

The plaintiff has designs of its own. It's both attempting to knock down defendants' intellectual property grab while maintaining its own authority to obtain trademark protection on its own "branding rights" associated with the CG Marilyn Monroe.

Not addressed: Why in the hell anybody wants to see a virtual Marilyn when they could simply stay at home at watch How to Marry a Millionaire and/or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Those perfume commercials featuring reanimated Marilyn are simply dreadful. Let the woman rest in peace, for God's sake.

Photo via Getty.



The William Gibson version of this story is better.