Singer Louis Prima’s widow stated a cause of action for infringement of the right of publicity based on the use of a Prima sound-alike singing one of his “signature songs” in a television commercial, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey held Jan. 12 (Prima v. Darden Restaurants Inc., D.N.J., Civ. No. 99-1637 (GEB), 1/12/00).

Gia M. Prima, individually and as a beneficiary of the Estate of Louis Prima, filed this cause of action alleging a violation of the right of publicity by Darden Restaurants Inc. and its advertising agency, Grey Advertising Inc. A television commercial for Darden’s “Olive Garden” restaurant chain featured a singer who sounded like Louis Prima singing “Oh Marie,” one of Prima’s signature songs. The defendants moved to dismiss the action.

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