La Russa v. Twitter, Inc.

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

05/05/2009

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

California

Disposition: 

Material Removed
Settled (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Anthony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, sued Twitter after an unknown Twitter user created an account at twitter.com/TonyLaRussa and pretended to post updates as La Russa. The fake Twitter page included La Russa's photo and a handful... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Twitter, Inc.; Does 1-25

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Organization

Location of Party: 

  • California

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • Delaware

Legal Counsel: 

Leslie A Kramer, Rodger R. Cole, Songmee L. Connolly - Fenwick & West LLP;
Description

Anthony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, sued Twitter after an unknown Twitter user created an account at twitter.com/TonyLaRussa and pretended to post updates as La Russa. The fake Twitter page included La Russa's photo and a handful of vulgar and apparently Cardinals-related updates. One line of the "profile" suggested it was all a fake: "Bio Parodies are fun for everyone."

La Russa's complaint alleged that the fake Twitter page constituted trademark infringement and dilution, cybersquatting, and misappropriation of name and likeness.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, La Russa's attorney tried to contact Twitter before filing the lawsuit, but got no response. Hours after the lawsuit was filed, Twitter removed the fake La Russa page and its postings. 

UPDATE: 

6/5/2009 - Twitter removed the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  STLToday.com reported that the parties had settled, citing La Russa as the source of the information.

6/6/2009 - Twitter denied reports that it had settled the lawsuit.

6/26/09 - La Russa filed a notice of voluntary dismissal after the parties settled the case.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Photo
  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Micro-blog

Subject Area: 

  • Third-Party Content
  • Trademark
  • Right of Publicity
  • Misappropriation
  • Twitter
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • California

Source of Law: 

  • United States
  • California

Court Name: 

Superior Court of the State of California, City and County of San Francisco; United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

CGC-09-488101 (state); 3:09-cv-02503-EMC (federal)

Relevant Documents: