Originally posted by
Jason Garcia on Apr 28, 2009 1:49:18 PM
for an Orlando Sentinel Blog
An Apopka entertainment-design company said Tuesday that it has sued Universal Orlando, its parent company and two movie studios, accusing them of stealing its concept for Halloween-themed attractions based on a trio of iconic horror movie characters.
In its 26-page complaint, ICC Design Inc. accuses Universal, NBC Universal, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. of taking plans it had developed for theme-park attractions built around the characters Jason, Freddy Krueger and Leatherface and using them instead for the 2007 edition of "Halloween Horror Nights" at Universal's parks in Orlando and California.
ICC said it first approached New Line in February 2005 about plans to license the three characters for new theme-park attractions. It said it spent more than a year working on the concept with New Line and that the discussions ultimately broadened to include Universal executives, as well.
But it said those talks abruptly ended in November 2006 -- only a few months before New Line and Universal announced a deal to feature the three characters in Halloween Horror Nights.
"Through outright fraud, deception, misrepresentation and 'back-door' dealings, entertainment industry giants New Line Cinema, Universal Orlando and NBC misappropriated ICC's confidential and proprietary business proposal and used such to reap staggering profits," lawyers for ICC wrote in the 26-page lawsuit.
Universal dismissed the allegations.
"We consider this groundless, without merit, and we're going to vigorously defend our position," spokesman Tom Schroder said.