WWE and their gaming partner 2K are appealing a courtroom defeat over the use of Randy Orton‘s tattoos in video games.
In April 2018, artist Catherine Alexander filed the suit, alleging that she was not properly reimbursed for the use of tattoos on the Viper’s body used in gaming.
In 2015, Alexander submitted applications to register copyrights on each of the tattoos she inked on the former World Champion’s body.
Last month, after years of delays thanks in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, a jury ruled in Alexander’s favor.
WWE had argued that the tattoos came under ‘fair use,’ and were necessary to depict Orton in video games.
Despite the lengthy case, Alexander was awarded just $3,750 in damages.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it is reported that WWE and 2K will appeal the result.
WWE and 2K claim that a judge, not a jury should preside over the case.
It is also argued that Alexander should not have been allowed to trademark part of Orton’s body, even if she drew on it.
WWE may seem vindictive for trying to recover their $3,750, but that isn’t their only reason for the appeal.
The Observer adds that WWE fears that Alexander’s victory could be a landmark case, and could see other tattoo artists follow her example.
The belief is that other artists could sue WWE for the use of their tattoos on talent used for video games and merchandise.
At this time, no other tattoo artist has filed a lawsuit against WWE or 2K since the Alexander ruling.