Slep-Tone Entertainment Corp. v. Canton Phoenix Inc. (D. Or.)

Slep-Tone has filed more than 150 cases around the country asserting trademark infringement for use of its karaoke tracks. Klarquist was the first to successfully argue that the legal theory underlying Slep-Tone’s nationwide litigation campaign was without merit. Slep-Tone sued Canton Phoenix alleging that Canton Phoenix possessed unauthorized copies of karaoke tracks that were originally engineered and produced by Slep-Tone. Slep-Tone alleged that the public performance of these karaoke tracks in karaoke shows (in which Slep-Tone’s trademark was briefly displayed in the video before and after the lyric cues) created confusion in the viewing public as to whether the karaoke tracks were authorized copies. Canton Phoenix moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim on the grounds that Slep-Tone’s only articulated injury sounded in copyright law and that trademark law could not be extended to cover alleged copyright injuries under the Supreme Court’s decision in Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 539 U.S. 23 (2003). The District of Oregon granted the motion and dismissed Slep-Tone’s federal trademark claims with prejudice.