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White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

March 15, 2012
Images of Vanna White and the Samsung robot, f...

Image via Wikipedia

Why it Matters:

This case involves the total persona of a celebrity and not directly their name, image, or even voice.

Year: 1992


In their ads for a VCR, Samsung featured a robot which was presented to resemble Vanna White next to a game board recognizable as The Wheel of Fortune.  White did not consent to the ad and was not given any compensation for the use of her persona.


The district court ruled in favor of White. Samsung appealed.

The Court of Appeals remanded the case to jury trial, which found in White’s favor.

White was awarded $403,000.

White V. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., 971 F. 2d 1395 (Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 1992).

From → Case Law

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