In a trademark infringement and state tort action by celebrity Paris Hilton against the greeting card company Hallmark for using her image and catchphrase in a birthday card without her permission, a denial of defendant's motion to strike under California's anti-SLAPP statute is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff had some probability of prevailing on the merits before a trier of fact on the issue of whether defendant's use of her image was transformative; and 2) defendant could not employ the public interest defense because its birthday card did not publish or report information.
Argued and Submitted May 6, 2009
Filed August 31, 2009
Opinion by Judge O'Scannlain
Lincoln D. Bandlow, Spillane Shaeffer Aronoff Bandlow LLP, Los Angeles, CA
Brent H. Blakely, Blakely Law Group, Hollywood, CA