The estate of Humphrey Bogart is suing British-based clothes company Burberry over use of the Hollywood icon’s name in what it said was an advertising campaign.
But Burberry has filed a countersuit, insisting it did not breach Bogart’s rights by using a photo of Bogart wearing one of its trenchcoats in the movie “Casablanca,” and seeking damages from the actor’s estate.
Both companies filed their legal action in the United States on Wednesday, a couple of weeks after the estate raised the issue with the classic English clothing company.
The Bogart Estate filed its action in Los Angeles, saying Burberry used the trench coat picture from the final scene of Oscar-winning 1942 classic “Casablanca,” on Twitter and Facebook, without its permission.
“Burberry’s business hinges on respect for its own intellectual property rights, so it is quite surprising to see that it apparently has so little respect for the clear rights of others.”
But Burberry counter-sued in New York, saying the photo was licensed from photo agency Corbis for editorial use. It said Burberry first contacted it about the issue on April 10.
Burberry said the image was used in the context of a historic “timeline” of the British company, used on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, showing the development of its “culture, products and people” over the decades.