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Predator Legal Battle is Transferred to Los Angeles

When we last covered the battle between the original creators Jim & John Thomas and 20th Century Studios over the U.S. Copyright of Predator, we reported that the focus of the dispute became over venue, i.e. which district court did the case legally belong in.

It seems there were duplicate lawsuits and countersuits filed by both the Thomas Brothers and 20th Century Studios in two court districts: One in the Northern District (San Francisco) and the other in the Central District (Los Angeles).

Apparently, all things being equal, the case belonged in the Central District Court in Los Angeles because this court covers the area where the contract agreement between the Thomas Brothers and 20th Century Fox was originally struck in 1986 (for the rights to the “Hunters” spec script.) And the lawyers for 20th Century Studios agreed with this notion.

But Marc Toberoff who legally represents the Thomas Brothers seemed to really want to pursue his clients’ case in the San Francisco court. Toberoff argued (among other things) that the Central District Court in Los Angeles was more congested, implying if the case was tried there, it would move at a slower pace and receive less publicity. And even though the deal made in 1986 with 20th Century Fox was within the Los Angeles Cental Court District area, Marc argued the Thomas Brothers lawsuit shouldn’t be location specific because they’re suing Disney as well, due to the fact that the Disney majority owned Hulu will be distributing the new Predator film “Skulls”. (Note: Alien vs. Predator Galaxy has not been able to independently confirm that a theatrical release is out of the question or a potential hybrid release between the two formats won’t occur.)

So at the end of that hearing last week, the Judge decided not to immediately make a decision, but rather take the matter under submission and save her decision for a later date. Well that decision came in yesterday Predator fans, and the Court ruled that they were “transferring case to the Central District of California”.

 Predator Legal Battle is Transferred to Los Angeles

So the lawsuits between the Thomas Brothers and Disney/20th Century Studios will be heard exclusively in Los Angeles, and the first minor win seemingly goes to Disney & 20th Century Studios.

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