Movie executives at Sony Pictures Classics have won permission to release new animated movie THE ILLUSIONIST after a Los Angeles judge rejected a restraining order request filed by the makers of Edward Norton's 2006 film of the same name.
Bosses at Illusionist Distribution, LLC, launched a legal bid last month (Oct10) to prevent Sony's film hitting cinemas using the same title, citing trademark infringement.
They argued film fans may confuse the new movie, based on a screenplay by beloved French star Jacques Tati, with the Norton period picture, in which the actor starred as a stage magician who falls in love with a duchess.
But on Thursday (04Nov10), Judge Dolly M. Gee ruled the two releases were too different for moviegoers to mix up and dismissed Illusionist Distribution's case as "weak", according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In legal papers, Gee declared: "Although both products are movies about illusionists, they are so different that there is little chance that consumer confusion will ensue."
The decision means Sony Pictures can now proceed with plans to release the new film, which is directed by Sylvain Chomet and has already been tipped for success at the 2011 Academy Awards.