Angel Levitation VS. Icarus Effect
Interesting. I received the following in my inbox from an anonymous source, so I cannot vouch for its validity. However, it does shed some light on what has been going on insofar as the disappearance of Icarus on various dealers' websites:
November 2, 2005
VIA FACSIMILE & COURIER
Re: “Aaron Paterson’s Icarus Effect” – Alleged Intellectual Property Infringement
We have now reviewed with our client, Aaron Paterson, the recent letters that you wrote, on behalf of Criss Angel, to Mr. Paterson and to several distributors of Mr. Paterson’s products.
You have not indicated, and nor is it clear to us, in what capacity you represent Mr. Angel.
We do not consider there to be any merit whatsoever to the vague allegations of intellectual property infringement that appear in your letters. However, we do consider Mr. Angel’s continuing efforts, and your own efforts on his behalf, to threaten and deceive our client’s distributors into discontinuing his products, to constitute a serious and actionable violation of our client’s rights.
You allege that Mr. Angel owns unspecified intellectual property rights in the “Effect” that our client markets and sells under the name “Aaron Paterson’s Icarus Effect”. It is unclear what aspect of our client’s “Effect” (which is, in essence, a particular method for creating the illusion of self-levitation) that you allege Mr. Angel owns rights in.
Having regard to the fact that illusionists have been performing this illusion for centuries, the only exclusive rights that could reasonably be asserted in respect of this illusion would be rights in a particular performance of the illusion that has been recorded in a fixed form (e.g. a DVD) or rights in a particular method for performing the illusion. Exclusive rights in the latter could reasonably be asserted only to the extent that a method is subject to legal protection as a trade secret and disclosed to others under the terms of a contract.
If Mr. Angel is asserting exclusive rights in our client’s method, then this assertion is completely unfounded. Our client has been honing and perfecting his method since 1994 when he first performed an early version of it. As such, to the extent that any intellectual property rights subsist in this method for performing the illusion, these rights belong to our client.
We are aware that Mr. Angel has employed a method for creating the illusion of self-levitation that is similar to our client’s but different in significant respects. Our client respects fair competition and does not consider that the method employed by Mr. Angel infringes our client’s rights in his own method.
However, Mr. Angel’s efforts, and your efforts on his behalf, to unlawfully induce our client’s distributors to discontinue his products have caused significant harm to our client’s business and personal reputation and continue to do so. As you note in your letters, a number magic distributors have already been deceived by Mr. Angel’s false assertions into discontinuing our client’s product.
In light of the foregoing, on behalf of our client, we hereby demand that you and Criss Angel immediately cease and desist from pursuing this unlawful and defamatory conduct. In addition, should Mr. Angel continue to pursue this conduct, or should Mr. Angel attempt to incorporate any original aspect of our client’s method, as demonstrated in “Aaron Paterson’s Icarus Effect”, into his own DVD or otherwise, without our client’s consent, our client has instructed us to commence proceedings against Mr. Angel for all remedies, including, without limitation, injunctive relief and damages for unlawful interference with contractual relations, defamation and harassment.
Please confirm to us in writing by no later than Friday, November 11, 2005 that you will be complying with this request. If we have not received such written notification by that date, we will take all appropriate steps in law and equity to protect our client’s business, good will and reputation.
Yours very truly,
It will be interesting to see if this gets resolved.