Tuesday, March 27, 2007


By Mike Johnson

The Ultimate Fighting Championship's parent company Zuffa Entertainment filed a lawsuit against cable network Showtime and their Mixed Martial Arts company Elite XC on 3/22 in the United States District Court of Nevada. The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement and unfair competition.

In a 34 page filing, Zuffa contends that the debut EXC broadcast on 2/10 in Southaven, MS featured "unauthorized, wrong, knowing and continuing appropriation, use and copying" of UFC copyrighted material that Zuffa has produced themselves or own from acquiring UFC in 2001 from Semaphore Entertainment.

The filing claims that the defendants, "wrongfully and willing copied the Infringed Copyrights, or caused the wrongful and willful copying" of the UFC footage. They allege EXC and Showtime may have also copied "other aspects and portions" of material Zuffa owns.

Zuffa also contends that the usage on EXC's broadcast created a "likelihood of confusion in the marketplace" and that EXC is using UFC's name and goodwill for their own good, citing the move was unfair competition on the part of Elite XC.

Zuffa requested that Showtime and EliteXC be enjoined from continuing to use the company's copyrighted material, that all copyrighted material be returned to them, that the defendants be forced to cover Zuffa's legal costs and that the court rule in their favor for any damages it deems fit. Their complaint was filed with detailed information on all of the material copyrighted and owned by Zuffa.

Neither Showtime nor EXC, who announced a massive undertaking today with a 6/2 MMA PPV at the 100,000 seat Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, have responded to their claims before the court. It's possible the companies may not have even been served with the complaint as of this writing.

Zuffa has demanded a jury trial in the filing.

(Source) (View Court Documents)

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