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Posted Friday, May 11, 2007

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New York, May 9, 2007

Felliniesque Case

AFTER earning his law degree from Moscow State Law Academy in Russia, Andrei Treivas took a legal road less traveled: a career in adult entertainment. Mr. Treivas moved to New York City in 1997, changed his name to Michael Lucas and opened a film company, Lucas Entertainment.

Mr. Lucas recently had a chance to put his legal education to work. In February, Mr. Lucas and his company were sued over his film "Michael Lucas's La Dolce Vita." International Media Films Inc., the company that owns the rights to the Fellini classic film "La Dolce Vita," wanted to halt the sale of the porn movie, alleging copyright and trademark infringement.

Last week a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that Mr. Lucas can continue to sell his film. Judge John Koeltl noted that the plaintiff waited five months after learning of "Michael Lucas's La Dolce Vita" before seeking relief.

As for "marketplace confusion" between the two titles he expressed doubts. Because the two films "move through radically different channels of trade," wrote the judge, "it thus seems extremely unlikely that a hapless purchaser seeking to buy Fellini's film will inadvertently stumble across 'Michael Lucas's La Dolce Vita.' "

--Amir Efrati and Nathan Koppel contributed to this column


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