Avatar lawsuit thrown out
Tuesday 21 Jan 2014 1:10 p.m.
Scene from Avatar
James Cameron has scored another legal victory after a third copyright infringement lawsuit linked to his sci-fi blockbuster Avatar was thrown out of court on Friday.
Screenwriter Bryant Moore filed suit against the director and his production company Lightstorm Entertainment in 2011 amid allegations Cameron based the hugely-successful film on two of his own scripts from 2003, for projects called Aquatica and Descendants: The Pollination.
The plaintiff claimed Avatar shared key plot details with his screenplays and demanded damages in excess of US$2.5 billion.
The filmmaker hit back, insisting Avatar's plot and characters were completely different to those created by Moore, and asked a Maryland judge to dismiss the lawsuit in July, 2012.
US District Judge Roger Titus issued a summary judgement ruling in Cameron's favour on Friday, declaring that Avatar lacked enough similarities to Moore's works for the lawsuit to proceed.
Cameron previously successfully defended himself against similar allegations from writer Eric Ryder and artist Gerald Morawski, whose theft lawsuits, also filed in 2011, were both dismissed last year.
Avatar raked in US$2.78 billion worldwide following its release in 2009 and remains the highest-grossing film of all time. Cameron is planning three more movies in the franchise, with lead stars Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington returning for all three back-to-back sequels.