TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS

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Notice on unauthorized use of ULTRAMAN character in Chinese film

Jan.17, 2019 News

We, Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd, (“TPC”), express our views on the following films and TV works (collectively referred to as “Blue Arc Works”), which Guangzhou Blue Magic Culture Communications Co., Ltd. (广州蓝奇文化传播有限公司), Guangzhou Blue Arc Animation Media Co., Ltd.(广州蓝弧动画传媒有限公司), and Guangzhou Blue Arc Culture Communications Co., Ltd.(广州蓝弧文化传播有限公司) (collectively referred to as “Blue Arc Group”) were involved in producing and conducting sales activity .

 

Blue Arc Works:

1.  Dragon Force: So long Ultraman (钢铁飞龙之再见奥特曼 2017: Movie)

2.  Dragon Force 2 (钢铁飞龙2奥特曼力量 2018: TV series)

3.  Dragon Force: Rise of Ultraman (钢铁飞龙之奥特曼崛起 2019 : Movie)

 

Now, we express our views on such matter:

 

1)  TPC is the sole copyright owner and holder of all ULTRAMAN series (“ULTRAMAN Works”). This is a fact without any dispute.

 

2)  Regarding the use of ULTRAMAN character in above Blue Arc Works, Blue Arc Group never received permission whatsoever from TPC, the copyright holder of all ULTRAMAN Works. TPC has nothing to do with these Blue Arc Works and such works are infringing our rights, as they used our ULTRAMAN character without receiving any permission from TPC.

 

3)  Hence, TPC filed a lawsuit in China (Shanghai) against Blue Arc Group, for accusing that tampering of the ULTRAMAN character infringes the rights of TPC, and to demand Blue Arc Group to cease its infringing activity.

 

4)  Blue Arc Group may argue that the Japanese company named UM Corporation (“UMC”) holds exclusive rights to use and exploit part of ULTRAMAN Works worldwide (excluding Japan), and that it has been granted a license by UMC and/or its licensee. While it is true that there exist different judgments in each country on the existence of rights purported to be claimed by UMC, all courts in each and every country have recognized that the copyrights of any kind of ULTRAMAN series belongs to TPC. NONE of the countries have ever ruled that UMC was granted the right to create or exploit any new ULTRAMAN series, as UMC does not possess any rights to produce derivate ULTRAMAN Works, like the ones of Blue Arc Works.

 

5)  Also, with regard to our pending litigation with UMC in the U.S., and at the Trial held in Los Angeles, California (U.S.) in November 2017, Perasit Saengduenchai (“Pete”), representative director of UMC, under oath in his testimony, admitted that he has no rights to adaptation, as when he was asked if he believes he has rights to adaptive works, he stated “No.

U.S. District Court entered first Judgment on April 18, 2018, denying exclusive usage rights of UMC claimed to have, as it ruled that the alleged document, which UMC claimed to have received ULTRAMAN usage rights worldwide, excluding Japan, was not an authentic agreement and is invalid. In the process of the litigation, U.S. District Court ruled in favor of TPC that apart from the authenticity of the alleged document, UMC has no rights to produce or exploit new works and that they do not possess adaptation or derivative works of ULTRAMAN Works at any rate, as such alleged document is unambiguous that it did not transfer the rights in derivative works. Additionally, the U.S. District Court ordered UMC to pay over 4.5 million US dollars in damages for its infringement of TPC’s rights and for our attorney’s fees and litigation costs. Therefore, it is obvious that UMC does not possess the right to produce derivative works of ULTRAMAN Works, like the ones of Blue Arc Works.

 

Even with these situations, if we find anybody exploiting Ultraman works in response to Blue Arc Group inquiry, we will take all necessary legal steps to protect our legal rights.

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