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Federal Court Orders Princess Diana Memorial Fund to Pay $2.3 Million... -- re> FRANKLIN CENTER, Pa., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ --

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Federal Court Orders Princess Diana Memorial Fund to Pay $2.3 Million in Attorneys' Fees to Franklin Mint

    FRANKLIN CENTER, Pa., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal court in Los
 Angeles has ruled that The Franklin Mint is entitled to recover more than
 $2.3 million in attorneys' fees from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial
 Fund, which had unsuccessfully challenged the Mint's right to market Princess
 Diana collectibles.
     In a decision entered today, Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of the U.S.
 District Court for the Central District of California ruled that the Diana
 Fund's claims of trademark dilution and false advertising were "groundless and
 unreasonable," and that The Franklin Mint was therefore entitled to recover
 the legal fees it incurred in defending itself from the charges.
     Judge Cooper also ruled that The Franklin Mint was entitled to be
 reimbursed for the money it spent defending itself against the Memorial Fund's
 claim that it had violated California's right of publicity statute, noting the
 right of publicity law specifies that the "prevailing party or parties in any
 action under this (law) shall also be entitled to attorneys' fees."
     This past June, Judge Cooper granted summary judgment in favor of The
 Franklin Mint on all of the remaining claims in the lawsuit.  The court had
 earlier dismissed as a matter of law the Memorial Fund's claim that The
 Franklin Mint had violated California right of publicity laws.
 
     In response to today's developments, the Franklin Mint issued the
 following statement:
 
     Just as we were gratified by the earlier rulings that completely
     vindicated us, we are gratified today that Judge Cooper has ordered the
     Memorial Fund to reimburse us for our legal fees.  The fact is, we never
     sought this dispute -- it was a completely unnecessary, unwarranted, and
     unjustified lawsuit initiated by the Memorial Fund.  We defended ourselves
     and incurred legal expenses only because we were forced to do so.  As we
     made clear from the time the lawsuit was filed, we have always been in
     full compliance with all applicable laws and would never do anything to
     harm Princess Diana's image.
 
     The Franklin Mint remains committed to honoring the memory of Princess
     Diana by raising money for her favorite causes.  We are proud that, as a
     result of the popularity of the Princess Diana Collection, we have already
     been able to commit more than $4 million to charity.
 
 

SOURCE The Franklin Mint
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