In April 2018, filmmaker Charlie Kessler filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court claiming Matt and Ross Duffer — creators of Netflix's wildly popular television series Stranger Things — breached an implied contract in creating the show. According to Kessler, years earlier he'd pitched the brothers a concept for a full-length film about a government facility performing top-secret experiments involving the supernatural, a plotline he argued they then used as the basis for Stranger Things.

The litigation ended in May 2019, when, on the eve of trial, Kessler dropped his case and announced that his work "had nothing to do with the creation of Stranger Things."

Speaking to the Westlaw Journal of Intellectual Property, James Sammataro, co-head of Pryor Cashman's Media + Entertainment Group, outlined the legal framework of idea-submission lawsuits and the circumstances under which a pitch may give rise to potential legal exposure.

Read the full article here.

More About Sammataro's Practice

With two decades of trial experience in high-stakes copyright, trademark, defamation, First Amendment, rights-of-publicity and non-compete matters, Fortune 500 companies, James Sammataro represents leading media entities, professional sports teams and A-list talent in delicate, high-profile disputes.

Learn more about his work here.

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