Out of Character: Jersey Boys, Detective Stories, & the Case of Space-Traveling Tardigrades

ILN IP Insider

James P. Flynn, Managing Director of the Firm and Member in the Litigation and Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practices, in the firm’s Newark office, authored an article in ILN IP Insider, titled “Out of Character: Jersey Boys, Detective Stories, & the Case of Space-Traveling Tardigrades.”

Following is an excerpt:

At heart, and still, I am a non-singing Jersey Boy, and one who grew up reading Sherlock Holmes stories and watching Star Trek, the Original Series(before it even needed that modifier), in reruns in the 1970s while also keeping up with the real Rocky. And, I have been writing for ILN IP Insider for five and one half years (first article appeared in March 2015), and have shown my Star Trek chops and character knowledge here on several different occasions, like bouncing from planet to planet. So, to paraphrase that famous opening, I have tried exploring “Law: the final frontier. These are the voyages of ILN’s enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new cases. To explain new rights and new rationalizations. To boldly show where lawsuits have gone before!”

So this is an interesting post for me to able to write, as it combines a discussion of fact and fiction writing, copyright, and elements what makes a character, real or otherwise, memorable. It stems from three cases, two quite recent and one a few years older, that nonetheless may see a new chapter opening with a more recent filing in New Mexico. That these cases involve The Jersey BoysStar Trek, and Sherlock Holmes, respectively, just makes them a little more fun.

Let’s start with the three cases. They are Donna Corbello v. Thomas Gaetano DeVito et al., a case that the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decided on September 8, 2020, Abdin v. CBS Broadcasting Inc., which the 2d Circuit decided on August 17, 2020, and Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, decided by 7th Circuit in 2014 but potentially quite relevant to a new lawsuit filed this summer. “What are they about?”, and “how are they connected?” are fair questions. Asking those questions here is the equivalent of Star Trek’s “Captain’s Log” (or “Standard orbit, Mr. Sulu”), Holmes’ “Come, Watson. The game is afoot,” or “Ladies and Gentleman, the Four Seasons”–It means it is time to start.