Remember Ed Helms’ face tattoo from “The Hangover Part II” movie? Did you notice the resemblance between the tattoo featured in the film and Mike Tyson’s face tattoo? Well, Warner Bros. may not have gotten permission to use that tattoo from artist S. Victor Whitmill who designed Tyson’s famous tattoo.
Before the movie’s release, Whitmill filed a complaint against Warner Bros., alleging that the facial tattoo in the film infringed on Whitmill’s copyright in the tattoo. Whitmill sought a preliminary injunction, which would have halted the film’s release. A preliminary injunction is a pre-trial court order that stops action by the opposing party in a lawsuit.
Warner Bros. and Whitmill settled this case before trial, and Whitmill’s tattoo is featured in the movie on all platforms. This case is still helpful to discuss because many athletes have unique tattoos that companies would want to display in their films or commercials, so the artist should also be able to profit from it.
Photo by Allef Vinicius, licensed