‘Life is Beautiful’ Festival Wins Dismissal of Trademark and Copyright Lawsuit

Munger, Tolles & Olson represented the Life is Beautiful music festival in obtaining summary judgment in a trademark and copyright infringement suit initiated by the artist known as Mr. Brainwash.

At issue in the lawsuit was the plaintiff’s asserted rights to the phrase “Life is Beautiful” and “splashed paint heart designs.” The plaintiff sued Life is Beautiful asserting various claims including trademark infringement, unfair competition and copyright infringement.

On Nov. 29, 2016, Judge Dean D. Pregerson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted summary judgment dismissing all claims against Life is Beautiful. The court found that the plaintiff’s fraud on the trademark office constituted unclean hands, barring all of the trademark claims, and that Mr. Brainwash did not use the phrase or the heart as a trademark.

The court further found that there was “no triable issue of fact as to Plaintiffs’ claim for copyright infringement of the heart design” because there was not the “virtual identity” required for infringement of a ubiquitous symbol like a heart.

The Munger Tolles attorneys representing Life is Beautiful are Tamerlin J. Godley, John M. Gildersleeve and Samuel T. Boyd.