Randy Orton is a true veteran in the world of professional wrestling as he has worked in WWE for close to twenty years at this point. It seems he has a lot left in the tank and is more than determined to work in WWE for several more years. Triple H also recently approached for a replacement of Randy Orton.
For the few months, Randy Orton has been teaming up with Monday Night RAW Superstar Matt Riddle and together they have been known as Team RK-Bro and have been quite successful since their debut together. They even went on to become RAW Tag Team Champions after defeating AJ Styles and Omos at WWE SummerSlam back in August last year.
They would eventually lose the titles to Alpha Academy earlier this year and since then they have been engaged in a feud with Chad Gable and Otis. They then won back the titles and even defended them at WrestleMania 38. They lost the titles to the Usos and Randy Orton was written off WWE television due to a back injury.
Tattoo artist Catherine Alexander brought a lawsuit against WWE, Take-Two Interactive Software, 2K Games, Inc., 2K Sports, Inc., Visual Concepts Entertainment, Yuke’s Co., Ltd. and Yuke’s LA Inc. The case is going to trial on Monday, September 26 before The U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois. A final pre-trial hearing will take place Monday, September 19th.
PW Insider has reported that over the past four years, the lawsuit alleges that all of Alexander’s tattoo work on WWE superstar Randy Orton are her own original designs and believes she owns the rights to.
In a ruling issued back on 9/26/20, Judge Staci M. Yandle ruled that WWE and Take-Two had indeed copied five tattoos that were Alexander’s original work that she holds valid trademarks on. Judge Yandle did deny Alexander’s request for a summary judgment (which would have been a knockout blow for her legally, setting up definite damages) citing that some of the tribal tattoos Orton has inked would not allow for a judgment, leaving it on for a jury to decide. At the time, Judge Yandle noted that while there was no question that WWE copied Alexander’s works, they have laid out three potential defenses that the jury can decide for themselves whether to agree with or not via the trial process.
There are several issues that a jury will decide, including whether Orton was automatically granted an implied license to have his tattoos recreated via WWE’s licensed products, if they would be considered copyright infringement if Orton did not have that license, whether the tattoos would fall under “fair use” (brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder), whether the tattoos are de minmis (too trivial or minor to merit consideration legally) and whether there would be damages due to Alexander.