Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Visionscape Interactive Wins Arbitration Award

We are pleased to have won a 1.199 million dollar award for our client software developer Visionscape Interactive, Inc. (VSI) which is based in San Diego. Mark Litwak represented VSI in a three day AAA arbitration hearing in Phoenix, Arizona in March. The award was against Oteeva, Inc., a videogame publisher, and several affiliated parties.

The arbitrator found that Oteeva, breached its agreement VSI when it defaulted by not making a milestone payment due VSI. Oteeva also defaulted on its obligations by misleading VSI to think that Oteeva had begun the process of obtaining approval from Sony for a videogame designed for the PS2 platform, and by engaging in a variety of fraudulent practices and business dealings including misrepresenting to other publishers that it had the rights to the game after its rights had been terminated.

VSI is a respected software developer that has worked with Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Sony Online, various divisions of Sony, Electronic Arts, Sega, Activision, Atari, Crave, THQ, Interplay, and Microsoft.

Arizona and New Mexico Adopt Tax Incentives

Arizona offers filmmakers a credit against income taxes. To qualify, at least 25% of the filmmaker’s employees need to be Arizona residents. The requirement will increase to 35% in 2007, and 50% in 2008.

A motion picture production company is eligible for incentives upon compliance with requirements in A.R.S. §41-1517 if it is primarily engaged in the business of producing motion pictures, has an office and bank account in Arizona, invests at least $250,000 in qualifying production costs, employs the required percentage of Arizona residents and is not obscene, does not depict sexual activity or sexually exploit a minor.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.commerce.state.az.us/finance/motionpic.asp

New Mexico offers producers a 25% film production tax rebate on all production expenditures (including labor) that are subject to taxation by the State of New Mexico. This is a refund, not a credit. The state also offers a 0% loan for up to $15 million per project, (which can represent 100% of the budget) for qualifying feature films or television projects. Terms are negotiated and budget must be at least $1 million.

Additional information at: http://www.nmfilm.com/filming/incentives/

USA Cable’s Sherlock Holmes TV Movie Did Not Infringe Copyright

USA has been vindicated in a copyright and trademark suit brought against it by Pannonia Farms, Inc. Pannonia claimed ownership of the Sherlock Holmes and Watson Characters originally created by Sir Arthur Canon Doyle. Pannonia Farms, Inc. v. USA Cable, 426 F. 3d 650 (2nd Cir. 2005).