Homer Simpson Hologram at Comic-Con Spurs Patent Lawsuit

By Joseph Mandour on August 22, 2014

Comic ConSan Diego – Three companies have filed a patent lawsuit against 20th Century Fox claiming that a hologram of Homer Simpson from The Simpsons used during the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con infringed its patented system that projects 3D images. The plaintiffs in the case are Alki David’s Hologram USA, Musion Das Hologram and Uwe Maass. This is not the first time Hologram USA has sued. Previously, Hologram USA targeted a Michael Jackson hologram that was projected at the Billboard Music Awards.

Hologram USA is also at war with Pulse Entertainment for the same infringement. Hologram USA claims to own rights to its own version of a magician’s trick from the 19th century called “Pepper’s Ghost.” This was a trick that was used to give the illusion that the late Tupac Shakur performed at the Coachella Music Festival two years ago. In Coachella’s case, the festival got permission to use the technology. However, in the case of Comic-Con and the Billboard Music Awards, they did not get permission.

Last month at Comic-Con, The Simpsons team was there to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary and promote a new app called Simpson’s World, which would allow viewers to watch all episodes of the show. The bit at Comic-Con featured the show’s creator Matt Groening and others, where Groening invited Homer Simpson on stage.

Onstage, Homer joked about registering at Comic-Con, to which Groening replied that he doesn’t care because he got his free ticket from Tupac Shakur’s hologram. The lawsuit alleges that the Homer Simpson hologram was created with the same patented technology that was used to create the Tupac Shakur hologram.

The lawsuit contends that 20th Century Fox did not have a valid license to use that technology and such a license could be provided only by the plaintiffs. The lawsuit stated that in spite of knowing that fact, the defendants decided to move forward with the performance using the patented technology. The plaintiffs are seeking damages for willful infringement. Fox spokespersons have said that the lawsuit is without merit and is just a way for Hologram USA to seek attention.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement