Starpower: Beyoncé

Over the weekend, during a rousing game of the Michael Jackson: The Experience, a friend and I started talking about how we would love a game like this based on Beyoncé! Every woman would love to be Sasha Fierce for a few moments in time to B’s sassy moves. Well it turns out that this was almost a reality.  WHAT?! I know!

Gate Five, the company behind the game, alleges she abandoned development of a motion-sensing dance video game that was going to be called Starpower: Beyoncé. Gate Five is asking for huge damages — “the hundreds of millions of dollars in profits that Gate Five could have realized if she had honored the Agreement,” according to the lawsuit.

Beyoncé has attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed on two occasions, but the New York appeals court said on Thursday November 15, 2012 that there were “triable issues” as to whether the singer had breached the licensing deal between her and Gate Five.

A termination clause in the video game contract mandated that a certain amount of money be in place by an agreed-upon date or Beyoncé could bail, Courthouse News reports.  

“Issues of fact remain as to whether defendants intended to forgo their right to terminate the licensing agreement, under a financing contingency clause, for plaintiff’s failure to obtain ‘committed financing or additional capital’ by a certain date,” the unsigned opinion states. “The record shows that defendants never objected to and worked actively toward closing on the loan which would not occur by that date.”
“The record also raises issues as to whether defendants’ own actions or bad faith caused or prevented plaintiff from securing financing by the deadline and whether plaintiff is entitled to an injunction to prevent defendants from utilizing their services in a competing video-game project during the prescribed period,” the justices added.

While the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division has stated the Beyoncé video game lawsuit must continue, this does not mean the singer is necessarily at fault, but that evidence must be presented to a jury to decide whether she honored the contract.

I am curious to find out why Beyoncé withdrew from the deal. There is a large fan base that would’ve flocked to stores to purchase this game. Will Beyoncé’s “starpower” get her off the hook? Does she have a legitimate reason for withdrawing from the deal?  Will we ever get to learn B’s moves? I’m very interested to see the issues and facts of this case unfold.

This has not been Beyoncé’s only legal battle this year. She and husband Jay-Z have hit the headlines this year for applying to register the name of their daughter, Blue Ivy, as a trademark.  When a Boston wedding planner succeeded recently in registering her business’s name, BLUE IVY, it was widely reported that the famous couple’s application had been abandoned. However, it has not. A search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office reveals that the application is still alive.  USPTO records also show that a clothing boutique in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, had registered its name, BLUE IVY, as a word and design mark last year, before Blue Ivy Carter was even born – it had been trading since 2000.   Will Beyoncé and Jay-Z still be able to turn their daughter’s name into a brand? It seems plausible because they’ve registered BLUE IVY CARTER as well and can use that if they loose for BLUE IVY.

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