Back in April, we reported that Mike Tyson's tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill sued Warner Bros. for unlawful use of his tattoo design in The Hangover Part II. While he was trying to stop the movie from being released, a judge dropped the injunction, allowing for the sequel to debut as scheduled, while still keeping the case open.
The case has taken a new turn, with the studio saying they will digitally alter the tattoo before the DVD release in December, if things aren't settled by then.
Today, U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry set a trial date for February 21, 2012, although it is unlikely this case will go to trial. S. Victor Whitmill's lawyers argued for a trial date in August, although Warner Bros. countered, saying they will replace Whitmill's design with another tattoo after The Hangover Part II's theatrical run. Here's an excerpt from one of the court documents submitted today.
"If the parties are unable to resolve their dispute, Warner Bros. does not intend to make any use of the allegedly infringing tattoo after the film ends its run in theaters because Warner Bros. will digitally alter the film to substitute a different tattoo on Ed Helms' face. The home video release is currently scheduled for early December 2011, which would allow Warner Bros. sufficient time to make the change if it becomes necessary."
Judge Catherine Perry has scheduled a private mediation session for June 16, for both sides to work out their issues, which could lead to a settlement agreement. As of today, The Hangover Part II has taken in nearly $350 million worldwide, after just two and a half weeks in theaters.