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Microsoft, Epic Games Beat Pro-Wrestler’s Suit Over Gears of War

Sept. 27, 2019, 4:17 PM

Microsoft Inc. and Epic Games Inc. won dismissal of a former pro wrestler’s claim that they stole his character for the Gears of War video game series.

The companies’ right to free expression outweighs Lenwood Hamilton’s right of publicity, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held.

In creating the character “Augustus Cole” based on Hamilton’s pro-wrestling persona, Hamilton’s likeness and his biographical information were sufficiently transformed, the court said. Gears of War is therefore protected by the First Amendment under the transformative use standard, the court said.

Hamilton sued Microsoft, Microsoft Studios, The Coalition, Epic Games, ...

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