6261Tsuburaya Production wins Ultraman case
- Apr 12, 2007Tsuburaya Production wins Ultraman case
Published on Apr 5, 2007
The Intellectual Property Court has ruled in favour of Japan's
Tsuburaya Production by ordering Sompote Saengduenchai and his two
companies, Tsuburaya Chaiyo and Chaiyo Productions, to stop making a
commercial profit from new Ultraman characters.
The three defendants have also been ordered to pay a fine of Bt15
million, plus interest and attorneys' fees.
Sampote Thianthong, managing director of Pro-Link, a public-relations
and business-promotion firm hired by Japan's Tsuburaya Production,
which owns the Ultraman characters, and Manu Rakwattanakul, an
attorney with Baker and McKenzie, told a press conference yesterday
that Monday's court ruling meant Sompote and his companies could no
longer claim the copyright for new Ultraman characters.
Sompote's companies created new characters based on the original
Ultraman models, including Ultraman Millennium, Dark Ultraman and
Ultraman Elite, to profit from such events as films and light and
The Japanese licence-holder launched the lawsuit in 2004 asking the
Intellectual Property Court to order Sompote to stop making a profit
from new Ultraman characters. The Ultraman products were in the form
of VCDs, stickers, children's clothes and action figures.
Sampote and Manu, however, noted that Sompote might appeal the case.
Meanwhile, those who bought licences from Sompote would also have to
stop making a profit from the new Ultraman characters.
The Japanese side had filed an earlier case against Sompote in 1997,
accusing him of faking an authorisation agreement allowing him to
profit from the Ultraman characters.
Tsuburaya Production lost the case in 2000. That case is now under
Tsuburaya Production, however, launched another lawsuit in 2004
accusing Sompote of violating a 1976 agreement limiting Sompote's
copyright to only nine movies made by Sompote in the 1970s, such
as "Ultraman and Hanuman".
Sompote later created new Ultraman characters. The Intellectual
Property Court earlier this week ruled in favour of the Japanese
side, saying the copyright on the nine movies from the 1970s did not
include any characters and was separate from the copyright for the
use of Ultraman characters.
Ultraman is an action hero based on a popular Japanese television
series created in the 1970s.
The court also ruled the three defendants - Sompote, Tsuburaya Chaiyo
and Chaiyo Production - were jointly liable for payment of Bt15
million to Tsuburaya Production, plus interest at the rate of 7.5 per
cent per annum from the date of the filing of the lawsuit until
payment is made in full.
The court also ruled the three defendants were jointly liable for
payment of court fees to Tsuburaya Production, plus Bt80,000 in
Nitida Aswanipont, The Nation