Judge Denies 'Hangover 2' Lawsuit's Injunction Over Tyson Tattoo

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 24, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Fans of so-called 'buddy films' won't be disappointed this weekend--a federal judge has denied a request by the plaintiff in the Hangover 2 lawsuit to prevent the long-awaited sequel's release.

Though the show can go on, the judge did indicate that, should the lawsuit make it through to trial, Mike Tyson tattoo creator S. Victor Whitmill is likely to win, allowing him to stomp on your ability to own the film on DVD.

How sad.

For those who don't follow Hollywood lawsuits and the whereabouts of the Mike Tyson tattoo, tattoo artist Whitmill filed the Hangover 2 lawsuit last month alleging that the facial tattoo worn by Ed Helms infringes on his copyright.

That's right, the tattoo artist owns the copyright to the tattoo on Mike Tyson's face.

When determining whether to grant an injunction, a judge must first consider whether the plaintiff is likely to be successful at trial, and then she must balance the hardships.

This means that she must determine whether, and how much, her decision would irreparably harm both parties.

Though The Hollywood Reporter reports that the judge determined that Whitmill is likely to win the Hangover 2 lawsuit, she still decided not to grant the injunction because the harm it would cause the defendants and third parties was simply too large.

Warner Bros. executives testified that it had already spent about $80 million on publicity thus far, and that theater owners across the country were expected copies of the film for this weekend's premiere, reports Reuters.

Even though the judge did say that he'd be likely to win, expect the creator of the Mike Tyson tattoo to settle--Warner Bros. doesn't want the Hangover 2 lawsuit to get in the way of its DVD sales.

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