Attorney Fees – Scarier Than Alien Or Predator

If anyone is thinking about filing a suit against a movie studio claiming that they stole your idea for a movie, you might want to think again. It may seem like a no lose proposition – if you win the case, or force the studio into a nuisance settlement, great. If you lose, no great loss. That may not be totally accurate, as James Muller recently discovered. Muller brought a copyright infringement suit against Twentieth Century Fox studios claiming that the film Alien v. Predator infringed a screenplay Muller had written, entitled The Lost Continent. The court found that Muller’s case had a glaring flaw – his screenplay bore no similarity to the film. At all. So Muller lost the case. But that didn’t end things. Twentieth Century filed a motion asking for its attorney fees, on the grounds that Muller’s lawsuit was frivolous. After considering the evidence, the court ordered Muller to pay the studio $40,000. He’s lucky in a way. The studio wanted $150,000. Talk about a horror film!