Randy Orton Scheduled To Be Witness In Tattoo Lawsuit Trial

WWE's Randy Orton will be making a court appearance to serve as a witness in a trial where his tattoo artist is attempting to sue WWE, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, 2K Games Inc, 2K Sports Inc, Visual Concepts Entertainment, Yukes Co Ltd, and Yukes LA Inc. The tattoo artist, Catherine Alexander, filed the lawsuit in 2018, but it was postponed multiple times, mainly due to COVID-19. Alexander claims that WWE and 2K have infringed on her trademark by applying Orton's tattoos in WWE video games without permission.


Anderson has stated the tattoos she did on Orton between 2003 and 2008 are "easily recognized by his fans and members of the public," so she then "submitted applications to register copyrights on each of the aforementioned works on March 15, 2018." PWInsider explains Anderson had attempted to sort things directly with WWE, but was only offered a $450 fee for the rights. She would turn that down and reportedly "told WWE that Plaintiff did not grant any permission to WWE to copy, duplicate or otherwise use or reproduce any of Plaintiff's designs."

The jury for the case will decide "whether Orton was automatically granted an implied license to have his tattoos recreated via WWE's licensed products, if they would be considered copyright infringement if Orton did not have that license, whether the tattoos would fall under "fair use" (brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder), whether the tattoos are de minmis (too trivial or minor to merit consideration legally) and whether there would be damages due to Alexander." The hearing takes place on Monday, September 26, at the U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois.