Thomas Lindgren, an expert in the field of commercial paleontology, files suit against Microsoft Corporation alleging misappropriation of his image and likeness, violation of his right to publicity, and false light.
Online PR News – 02-June-2012 – Orange County, California – Thomas Lindgren, a well-known expert in the field of commercial paleontology, filed suit on June 1, 2012 in Orange County Superior Court, Case No. 30-2012-00573451, against Microsoft Corporation alleging misappropriation of his image and likeness, violation of his right to publicity, false light, and unfair business practices.
The complaint alleges that MSN.com, which is owned by Microsoft, used Lindgren’s image and likeness without his consent in relation to an article it published concerning the sale of a Tyrannosaurus fossil for which Lindgren had no involvement. The suit further alleges that MSN.com’s use of Lindgren’s image and likeness without his permission casted him in a false light and caused damage to his reputation in light of the controversy surrounding the sale of the fossil.
The complaint arises from an article published by MSN.com on or about May 19, 2012 in the “What’s Trending Now” Section on its website entitled “For Sale: Used Tyrannosaurus Skeleton.” The article described the sale of a Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton scheduled for Sunday, May 20, 2012 in New York City. The article included a photograph of Lindgren standing next to a Tyrannosaurus rex skull – a different species than the fossil at issue – which Lindgren sold in 2009. While the article noted that the T-Rex skull was not the fossil being sold, the article failed to mention who Lindgren was or that Lindgren had absolutely no involvement in the procurement or sale of the Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton being sold. The article also failed to explain that Lindgren has no relationship with the auction house selling the fossil.
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