Steven Spielberg and the producers behind Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom are being sued for $10 million. The sequel to 2015's Jurassic World, and the fifth entry in the long-running franchise overall, was released over the summer to a mixed response. Mixed or not, the movie made a boatload of money. But it looks like some of that profit could wind up in the hands of Frederick Zaccheo, who is now suing Universal Pictures and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment.
According to court documents, Frederick Zaccheo made a deal with the companies for them to use his slogan "Save the Dinos" in order to promote Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Zaccheo had come up with the slogan for his organization, The Dinosaur Project, which used the slogan on items of clothing and donated part of the proceeds to organizations that help endangered animals. Here's a description of The Dinosaur Project and its mission.
"The Dinosaur Project was created to develop products with one mission in mind; to help conserve endangered animals. Our mission is to create and sell products that can give back to the amazing conservation organizations that protect animals that are endangered; especially those affected by human influence."
The movie made use of this slogan as part of a viral marketing campaign. Bryce Dallas Howard's character Claire founded an organization known as the Dinosaur Protection Group and they used the same slogan. The DPG was featured in Jurassic World 2, but a series of viral videos and web content was also used to help build buzz for the sequel. Frederick Zaccheo was reportedly contacted by Universal and Amblin in the summer of 2017. They asked if they could use his slogan and they agreed on a $50,000 fee. However, Zaccheo insisted they not use the slogan to sell clothing and not use it to promote competing charitable, environmental, animal rights or endangered species efforts.
He also alleges that it was agreed upon that any use of Save the Dinos for merchandising related to the movie had to be done in connection with the Jurassic Park franchise. Frederick Zaccheo says he wanted to avoid any interference with "his project and its goals." Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened. Universal has since released items such as shirts, socks and other clothing items that make use of the slogan, but don't set themselves apart from those The Dinosaur Project has released. Now, he's asking for $10 million in damages, specifically suing for breach of contract and trademark infringement.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom grossed $1.3 billion at the box office and the movie has surely generated a lot of money in merchandise sales as well. In the grand scheme of things, $10 million isn't as much as it sounds like when looking at numbers that large. And Frederick Zaccheo may very well have a case. Feel free to check out one of The Dinosaur Project's shirts below, as well as a shirt used as merch for the movie and compare for yourself. This news was first reported by The Blast.