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August 22, 2014

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Deep Throat’ trademark owner sues NLV company

Thirty-seven years after its release, the "Deep Throat" X-rated movie remains a valuable brand -- so much so that it's the subject of a newly filed lawsuit in Las Vegas federal court.

Arrow Productions Inc. of Las Vegas, which claims to own the trademarks to the "Deep Throat" series of 15 films and to the name "Linda Lovelace," filed suit Friday against a North Las Vegas company that has been marketing some of the Deep Throat films on its Web site. Linda Lovelace was the central character in the series and the stage name of the actress who starred in the original movie, the suit said. The lawsuit said the actress's real name was Linda Susan Boreman and that she died in 2002.

The defendants, VCX Ltd. and VCX official David Sutton, could not immediately be reached for comment. Their attorney in previous cases also could not be reached.

Deep Throat, with box office sales reported at $600 million, is credited with broadening the appeal of pornography in the 1970s and the brand is now featured in an Arrow energy drink, T-shirts and posters; and in the "Deeper Throat" reality TV series on Showtime.

Arrow Productions charged that beginning this year, VCX has been wrongly selling copies of the Deep Throat movies, including allegedly counterfeit movies.

"Defendants have infringed plaintiff’s mark in interstate commerce by various acts, including advertising and distributing prerecorded DVDs under the name Deep Throat," the lawsuit charges. "Said use of said name and mark by defendants is without permission or authority of plaintiff and said use is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake and to deceive."

The suit, filed by Las Vegas attorneys Clyde DeWitt and Allen Lichtenstein, seeks an order requiring VCX to stop selling Deep Throat movies, to turn over to Arrow any inventory of Deep Throat movies and DVD labeling and packaging; and an order that it recall from consumers all such movies it has sold.

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