United States Federal Court – Ninth Circuit
Here is some very important news to all that follow Houdini. In the court case in the United States Federal Court, against Hardeen Houdini, whose real name is Donald Ferguson.
Here is an excerpt of the Nov. 10th ruling:
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (#56) is granted as follows:
1. Judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiffs on their claims for (a) federal unfair competition under 15 U.S.C.§ 1125 (a); (b) common law trademark infringement; (c) deceptive trade practices under N.R.S. § 598.0903 et seq; and (d) false advertising under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c).
2. Plaintiffs' claims are dismissed for (a) violation of right of privacy under N.R.S.§ 597.780 et seq.; and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.
3. Judgment is entered in favor of plaintiffs on all defendants' counterclaims.
4. Defendants are permanently enjoined from:
(a) Using any trademark containing the word "HOUDINI" in any form, whether alone or in combination with other words or a logo (including, but not limited to the following: "HOUDINI'S", "HOUDINI'S MAGIC", "HOUDINI'S MAGIC SHOP", OR "HOUDINI'S TRUNK OF MAGIC" in connection with the sale or offering for sale (including, but not limited to, in advertisements, brochures, signage, web sites, or domain names) of goods or services related to the field of magic (including, but not limited to, in connection with the sale of magic tricks);
(b) Representing, claiming, or implying that there is any relationship (whether by blood, marriage or otherwise), affiliation or association between Defendants and the famous magician Harry Houdini in connection with the sale or offering for sale (including, but not limited to, in connection with the sale of magic tricks);
(c) Claiming that Defendants' business is the "authentic" Houdini's Magic Shop; or
(d) Otherwise directly or indirectly trading Plaintiff' goodwill and reputation in connection with the sale of magic tricks.
5. Plaintiffs have superior, prior and exclusive rights to the names and trademarks containing the word "HOUDINI" in connection with the sale of magic tricks, and Defendants have no rights to use the names or marks containing the word "HOUDINI" in connection with the field of magic.
One more thing that is interesting: Donald Ferguson has been using a social security number of a deceased person, (died in 1988.) There is a tax lien filed in Branson, Mo., against Hardeen H. Houdini. The SS# is 125-01-6255. Also, in applying for a fictitious business name in Missouri, Ferguson used the same number. The number belongs to the real Harry Hardeen, the real son of Theo Hardeen, who died in 1988. BTW, you can look up deceased persons on the internet. I hope we have a reader on internet who works for the Social Security Administration or the Department of Justice. I don't think it is legal to use a false social security number, do you? One more thing, Houdini's Trunk of Magic was expelled from the Magic Dealers Association.