Montreal animator awarded $5.2 million after a 13-year copyright battle

When Florence Lucas received the hefty brown envelope on a weekday morning in late August, she resisted the temptation to open it immediately even though she knew that a 13-year long legal battle pitting a determined and resolute Montreal animator against a major studio production company was possibly about to reach its denouement.

The Montreal lawyer with Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP instead called her client, Claude Robinson, whose “tenacity, energy and determination was indispensable to face the legal guerilla,” and waited for him. “We both jumped to the conclusion right away, and then leapt with joy,” said Lucas, who specializes in intellectual property, media and entertainment law.

Robinson, who launched in July 1996 a $2.53-million copyright-infringement lawsuit against the Cinar Corp. and other defendants claiming they stole a cartoon character he created, was awarded more than $5.2 million, including $400,000 for psychological distress, $1-million in punitive damages, and $1.5-million to cover legal fees.

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Animator wins 13-year legal battle

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