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Bette Davis Estate Sues Over Bette Davis Dress

1/13/2011 10:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Bette Davis' eyes -- and her estate's lawyers -- are focused on a designer which is accused of slapping the legend's name on a line of dresses ... according to a lawsuit filed today.

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Bette's estate claims Stop Staring! Designs is using Bette's name to market and sell a line of vintage frocks known as the "Betty Davis dress" or the "BDavis dress" -- which retail for just under $200.

The lawsuit -- filed in L.A. County Superior Court -- alleges the designer is infringing on the Bette Davis estate's right of publicity.

The estate wants an order shutting down sale of the dresses ... as well as damages.

30 COMMENTS

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1.

bring back recent posts    

...that sounds fair, they shouldn't be able to use here name, offer them a percentage and I'm sure they would gladly approve.

1325 days ago
2.

andy    

Apparently, actor "John Dye" has died. He was on a show called "Touched by an Angel" for 8 years (angel of death), and also played the role of a medic on the "Vietnam" based series "Tour of Duty" (great show). He was 47 years of age.

1325 days ago
3.

BSweet    

I love Stop Staring! They have adorable stuff. I think Bette's been deceased for a long time now. It's really a tribute to her, which should be taken as a compliment. Also, if they use her name, they owe her estate some $. Why all the arguing? It's pretty simple.

1325 days ago
4.

spinner25    

Why isn't the estate just requesting that they change the name of the dresses?

It's seems overkill to request the dresses not be sold at all.

1325 days ago
5.

dd    

Thank God it has nothing to do with the Jackson or everyone would be screaming about how greedy they are...it's business people.

1325 days ago
6.

Lucky_130    

At one point Bette Davis was hot, and really knew how to dress.

1325 days ago
7.

LucyLu    

American businesses should be encouraged, instead of being dragged into courts!!!
As "spinner25" above in #5 mentioned, the lawyers just have to send a notice and explain.
Anyway, this was good publicity for the company. Because I hadn't heard of this company and I just checked them out! It's in biz for 10yrs. It's a shame that for lawyers under Estate excuse, drag small biz into courts. Shame on you. Enough is enough!! It seems to me the Davis' estate lawyer(s) have nothing to do. Instead, they are busy creating headache for a hard working American company. Shame, shame, shame.... I hope the judge would be ethical and throw similar lawsuits out.

I see the company's focus is promoting 40s 50s era, so naturally all those actors/actresses would be mentioned. And all of them I guess are dead by now and got Estate lawyers?So what's next, they will all gang up and bankrupt in this economy an American biz and other similar ones???? What's wrong with people!!! If they need to get a cut out of greed, just say so. Don't waste small biz time in courts and fill the pockets of lawyers!!! Come to a mutual consensus. The lawsuit should be immediately closed and thrown out!! Got to support and encourage American small businesses, specially in this economy! Wake up people and cut out the greed!!

1325 days ago
8.

HarlotO'Hara    

I love Stop Staring! They have adorable stuff. I think Bette's been deceased for a long time now. It's really a tribute to her, which should be taken as a compliment. Also, if they use her name, they owe her estate some $. Why all the arguing? It's pretty simple.

Posted at 6:06 PM on Jan 13, 2011 by BSweet

Have you bought something from them? There's a couple of dresses I really like. Are the dresses well made?


Thanks TMZ for the heads-up about Stop Staring!

1325 days ago
9.

American Mom    

If they have a good product and an original idea it should stand on it's own. They should pay for advertising. People or businesses that copy or steal are cheap and that is why we have laws. Betty Davis was so very pretty in the past.People don't look like that now! She and her estate deserve to keep everything that SHE earned including her name. People, get original, and you can come up with a better LEGAL way to push your product. You have a great idea, just make it yours. Don't copy.

1325 days ago
10.

TheBabe    

Bette Davis passed away in 1989...let's be honest...not really that long ago.

She is a Hollywood Icon! There are plenty of references to her in Pop-Culture. Who cares how longs its been.

Posthumous estates are set up to protect her name and her legacy. Maybe it is flattering but at the same time they could have just as easily called the dress "The Bette". They are branding it with her name for the purpose of sales.

Similarly, you are right. This company is getting attention now so what do they (or you for that matter) have to complain about...this isn't going to shut them down. It's business.

Heroes get remembered but Legends never die!

1325 days ago
11.

Raejean    

Bette Davis has kids and grandkids. Her estate is entitled to protect and license the use of her name, and exercising that right has a great deal less to do with greed than the decision to MARKET those clothes with her name attached to get attention for the product or borrow her cachet!

So if these fools who try to make it big on someone else's ticket would just pay up front for the privilege like good little boys and girls, no one would need to sue!

In other worlds, GROW UP and smell the legal consequences of your actions!

1325 days ago
12.

Gloria Unread    

Just call it the "Bette" - Problem solved!

1325 days ago
13.

stumpy    

4.

Why isn't the estate just requesting that they change the name of the dresses?

It's seems overkill to request the dresses not be sold at all.

Posted at 6:10 PM on Jan 13, 2011 by spinner25
--------------------------------------------------------------
its a bargaining position if you get an order to stop production
your in a better position to set a $$ on removing it

1325 days ago
14.

Ginger    

Nothing new has come along in clothes in thousands of years. Just new fabric and someone's named sewn in on a tag. This is silly.

1325 days ago
15.

me    

It is just called the B. Davis dress. B. Davis never wore that dress or was ever seen in a similar dress. It's just the name of the dress. So should M. Monroe sue everyone wearing the "monroe" piercing? dumb lawsuit. It's a tribute and not making money of her name. They could have called it anything and it would still sell.

1325 days ago
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