Power Rangers Costumes Spark Copyright Lawsuit

Oct 31, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
A Halloween costume of a Power Ranger has spurred a copyright lawsuit.

SCG Power Rangers LLC, the company that owns the rights to the "Power Rangers" TV series and related products, recently filed a lawsuit against Underdog Endeavors, alleging the company's Power Rangers Halloween costumes constitute copyright infringement.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, SCG sent Underdog several cease-and-desist letters requesting the company halt sale of the costumes, and filed suit when Underdog did not comply. SCG seeks an injunction against further sale of the costumes and monetary damages.

Copyright law does not grant protection to clothing or other products with "an intrinsic utilitarian function," although it does extend protections to "pictorial, graphic or sculptural" designs, which suggests parts of the costumes might be protected, stated the Reporter.

The news source conjectured that a ruling in favor of SCG could have a significant impact on what mass-marketed Halloween costumes are legally viable in the future.

The Power Rangers franchise has been at the center of an intellectual property controversy in the past. In 1996, ZeoCrystals, a Chicago-based manufacturer of an odor-eliminating crystal product, sued the show's producers for $10 million, alleging the show infringed on the ZeoCrystal trademark by airing an episode featuring a "magic rock" called a ZeoCrystal.