Paramount Pictures sues “The Godfather” author’s estate

Film company claims estate is infringing its copyright

Paramount Pictures Corp. has filed suit against the estate of Mario Puzo, author of the popular 1960s novel “The Godfather.”

With its suit, the film company hopes to block the publication of new sequel novels to “The Godfather.” Paramount claims it purchased the copyright to the original novel in 1969 and in its Feb. 17 complaint said it is trying to “protect the integrity and reputation of The Godfather trilogy.”

With Paramount’s permission, Puzo’s estate published a sequel to “The Godfather” in 2004, titled “The Godfather Returns.” Two years later, it published a second sequel, “The Godfather’s Revenge,” but this time, without the film company’s approval, the lawsuit says.

“Far from properly honoring the legacy of ‘The Godfather,’ the unauthorized ‘The Godfather’s Revenge’ tarnished, and in the process, also misled consumers into believing that ‘The Godfather’s Revenge’ was authorized by Paramount, or otherwise affiliated with or connected to ‘The Godfather’ and Paramount’s ‘Godfather’ franchise,” Paramount says in its complaint.

The film company seeks damages, as well as an order to bar Puzo’s estate from publishing “The Family Corleone,” a third sequel, later this year.

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