by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Zuffa, LLC has filed a lawsuit against Pro Elite Inc. and Showtime for a variety of reasons. According to wrestlingobserver.com:
“Zuffa contends registered footage from UFC Japan, UFC 16, UFC 17, UFC Brazil, UFC 22, and UFC 45 — dating from Dec. 1997 to Nov. 2003 — was unlawfully utilized by Showtime and Pro Elite in its broadcast. The lawsuit also contends the defendant’s use of said material ‘created a likelihood of confusion among the public as to the original source of same [the footage] and contributed to the dilution of the distinctive quality of Zuffa’s and the UFC’s work in the marketplace.’”
The interesting aspect of this lawsuit is the fact that Zuffa believes that by EliteXC producing their shows as they do, and with usage of Zuffa’s footage, that fans will be confused and think that they are watching a UFC event.
Following Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta’s purchase of Pride earlier this week, this has been an interesting and developing story that has led to many fans critiquing Zuffa about the number of times Zuffa sues its competition. Zuffa does have a right to protect all of their material, as does any business owner.
Representives of Showtime would not comment on the lawsuit when reached by MMAWeekly. We’ll be releasing more information on the lawsuit as it becomes available.