Skip to main content

Jury finds in favor of Randy Orton tattoo artist in lawsuit against WWE and Take-Two Interactive

gettyimages-1148492439-Cropped

A jury ruled in favor of a tattoo artist over WWE and those behind the WWE 2K video game series, finding that the defendants infringed on her copyrights when her tattoos were used for Randy Orton’s model in the video game.

PWInsider reported Friday that the jury, based in the US District Court Southern District of Illinois, had found that the defendants failed to prove that the tattoos were fair use and Catherine Alexander, the plaintiff, was right in going for damages. Two other rulings by the jury determined that Alexander was entitled to just $3,750 for the usage of her designs in the game.

The defendants in the trial included WWE, publisher of the 2K series Take-Two Interactive Software, 2K Games, Inc., 2K Sports, Inc., and developers Visual Concepts Entertainment, Yuke’s Co., Ltd. and Yuke’s LA Inc..

Judge Staci M. Yandle ruled on September 26 that WWE and Take-Two had copied five of Alexander’s tattoos that she held valid trademarks on. Alexander was denied a summary judgment and instead a jury decided the amount of damages.

Alexander originally filed suit in 2018, saying that she had performed the tattoo work on Orton between 2003 and 2008. She had previously contacted WWE about material featuring her work, saying that WWE offered her a $450 fee for the rights. According to the suit, she rejected that offer and "told WWE that Plaintiff did not grant any permission to WWE to copy, duplicate or otherwise use or reproduce any of Plaintiff’s designs."