Back in August, WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett and his Global Force Entertainment, LLC filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Anthem Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of Impact Wrestling, along with Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC. PWInsider reported that the suit was filed on August 10 in the United States District Court of Tennessee.
Jarrett and GFW have requested a jury trial and are seeking an injunction that would prevent Anthem from copying, distributing, selling, offering for sale and displaying the GFW Amped content. Amped is the TV show that Jarrett filmed for GFW in its early days. The injunction would also prevent Anthem from using the Global Force Wrestling and GFW names, the logo and anything similar, including “but not limited to, Global Wrestling Network, GWN, and the GWN logo.” This could create significant problems for Anthem as it would mean they would have to immediately suspend their Global Wrestling Network streaming service, which also uses the GWN name. The 26-page lawsuit includes more allegations against Anthem.
In an update, Anthem Sports filed a motion on 11/1 with the U.S. District Court of Tennessee to have the lawsuit dismissed, according to PWInsider.
Among some of Anthem’s responses include Jarrett’s team failing “to state an adequate claim of copyright infringement” over the Global Force Wrestling Amped! shows that Impact aired as PPVs. Apparently, there were no official copyrights filed on the material in question before the lawsuit was filed. This would explain why Jarrett and his company tried for a court order to have Impact to hand over the masters, so they could file the proper copyrights on 16 hours of GFW Amped! content.
Jarrett himself is alleging Anthem “violated Jeff Jarrett’s exclusive property rights to his own name, photograph, and other likeness,” but Anthem responded “Jeff Jarrett has previously authorized the use of his name and likeness as a trademark and Defendants own that trademark.” Basically, Anthem is saying when they acquired TNA/Impact Wrestling from Dixie Carter’s company, Impact Ventures, LLC that also included Jarrett’s likeness. Anthem also included a statement of Jarrett giving his consent to TNA Entertainment, LLC in 2006.
Anthem Sports is also contesting that they can’t even be sued in the state of Tennessee because Anthem Sports is a Canadian company based out of Toronto and doesn’t do business in Tennessee. Anthem Sports is the parent company of Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC, and is looking to be dismissed as a defendant in the case, noting they’re two completely separate companies as Anthem Sports is “merely” a holding company without “any day-to-day operations of any kind.” Numerous other responses where made in this update as Anthem looks to move away from this going to court.
Magistrate Judge Joe Brown has ordered all discovery (where the two sides can obtain evidence that the other side has) must be completed by 7/1/19. If the court doesn’t end up throwing out this case, it will go deep into 2019 to be decided either by settlement or in court.