Lawyers: Judge rules that previous owners have rights to Hard Rock Park's theme

Posted Monday, March 30, 2009 10:55 PM | Contributed by T Van

A federal bankruptcy judge ruled today that some of Hard Rock Park's intellectual property rights still belong to the park's previous owners, who are asking the park's new owners for royalties and a licensing fee, according to attorneys involved in the case.

The $400 million park, which opened in April and closed in bankruptcy in September, was purchased in February by FPI MB Entertainment for $25 million. But Steven Goodwin, the park's former CEO, says the park's overall theme still belongs to a corporation he heads.

Read more from The Sun News.

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Monday, March 30, 2009 11:30 PM

The plot thickens...

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:15 AM

No, IMHO if I was the parks owner. That settles the plot. Rename it American Music Thill Park. Get some new rights to songs and open on schedual or a little later.

That or take some of the extra 25 million they said they had available for upgrades and marketing and invest it in the Bribe. Open on time and with current marketing

From what I understand Hard Rock Brand itself still hasn't decided to renew. Id choose the first option. Hard Rock as well as the brand is known is still as much Exclusive as it is Inclusive.AMTP severes the whole gambit

3rd option is wait a year. Do what exactly you want in a new and fresh way and open then. It's looking IFFY for this year at this rate. Less than two months.

.Chuck, wanting 50,000 a day for the name. JK

Last edited by Charles Nungester, Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:17 AM
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:21 AM

You're missing the point, Chuck. At issue isn't the Hard Rock name, it's the concept of a rock music inspired park that the former owners are claiming as IP.

And I still don't get that either. Can you really shelter the IP in a separate shell company owned by the same people? Seems to me it should be among the assets secured with the park in bankruptcy.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 4:59 AM

What is it with people thinking they are still owed something even after they lead a company into epic failure? Seems to be a lot of that going on lately.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:03 AM

My guess: the legal system hasn't seen the last of this question.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:24 AM

I think this about insures the entire park will be rebranded and all rides renamed.I am just afraid the new owners will open during rebranding/renaming and vistor will think they are in a park that is not finished and have a bad taste of this park again.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:48 AM

Jeff said:And I still don't get that either. Can you really shelter the IP in a separate shell company owned by the same people?

I wish I understood the legalities better, but it was my impression that any lienholders against HRP are supposed to make themselves known before the bankruptcy is discharged. Clearly it seems that HRP Creative came in after the proceedings were completed and the sale finalized. My feeling is that those IP assets *could* be sheltered in a holding company distinct from HRP, but that those assets would normally be transferred on or before the park actually opening, and that at the very least anyone purchasing HRP assets "free and clear" would HAVE to have been notified that certain specific assets were NOT included in the deal. Very strange to me...

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 10:01 AM

At the very least, it seems that someone on the buyers side failed at their due diligence. At the worst, all the information wasn't provided or was specifically omitted and shielded by HRP.

If the former, they probably don't have much to stand on. If the latter, I guess it may depend on if they were asked point blank about it. Is there a sn..I mean attorney in the house to answer this? ;)

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 11:38 AM

Both this article and the one linked in the previous thread mentioned that the "design and layout" were also being considered intellectual property. So now what, the new owners have to move buildings around and re-route the sidewalks to avoid infringing on Goodwin's alleged copyright? Such a thing hasn't been mentioned in the articles, but I can't imagine what else "design and layout" IP could mean.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:21 PM

It seems that Goodwin is a little nutcase since he fooled the new owners by not fully disclosing his new holding company. Also, there has to be full disclosure on the part of Goodwin to the bankruptcy court since this wasn't done then he is in the wrong. Basically he can't hold the IP interests since he didn't discolse to the courts his other company's interest. IT looks like something is a little fishy plain and simple.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:46 PM

CP Chris said:
What is it with people thinking they are still owed something even after they lead a company into epic failure?

This isn't quite that kind of situaion.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 11:56 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

CP Chris said:
What is it with people thinking they are still owed something even after they lead a company into epic failure?

This isn't quite that kind of situaion.

I disagree. I think it is that kind of situation.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 12:30 AM

Well, you'd be wrong. :)

If this guy legitimately owns something they're using, he gets paid.

This isn't, "Hey, I f'd up...now gimme some money!"

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 1:33 AM

The words that I string together in this very post are my intellectual property. NOW PAY UP! lol

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 2:04 AM

Technically, posting those words here makes Jeff the owner. :)

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 9:48 AM

Jeff might own the bits, but I think LK still owns the IP behind them. ;)

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 11:24 AM

Maybe this judge spent too much time inside the NIWS attraction, acting as his own "smoke machine"? ;)

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 11:54 AM

I guess I find it kind of interesting the need there is for some to vilify Goodwin.

Can anyone really say that if they had a really cool idea they put in motion and it just didn't pan out for whatever reason(s) (bad climate, poor hiring, even just plain bad business plan), that you wouldn't still want to maintain credit for the idea when somone else comes along and gives it another try?

I know that's oversimplifying a bit, but at the foundation, I guess that's how I see it.

Edited for spelling.

Last edited by Carrie M., Wednesday, April 1, 2009 11:57 AM
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 12:10 PM

He can have the credit, but his business failed. I think it's a crime that his IP claims weren't a material part of the bankruptcy.

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