The writers and producers of science fiction stories and movies can lawfully use the words “first contact” in the titles of their works following a March 20 decision of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in which the court held the words generic and not entitled to trademark protection (Estate of Jenkins v. Paramount Pictures Corp., E.D. Va., No. 99-1766-A, 3/20/00).

The issue arose in this case by way of a trademark infringement suit brought by the heirs of William F. Jenkins. In 1945, Jenkins published a short story called “First Contact” in the magazine Astounding Science-Fiction. That story has come to be regarded as the seminal piece in a subclass of science fiction stories that describe humankind’s first contact with extraterrestrials.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]