Franklin Mint v. National Wildlife Art Exchange
Franklin Mint Corp. v. Nat'l Wildlife Art Exch., Inc., No. 76-1935 (E.D. Pa. 1977), aff’d, 575 F.2d 62 (3d Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 880 (1978).
In 1972 Ralph A. Stewart, chief operating officer of National Wildlife Exchange, Inc., asked wildlife artist Albert Earl Gilbert to paint a picture of cardinals, with the understanding that the National would reproduce the painting for sale in a limited edition. Stewart paid Gilbert $1500 for “Cardinals on Appleblossom” and wrote on the payment check’s reverse “For Cardinal painting 20 X 24 including all rights – reproduction, etc.” In 1975 Gilbert painted “The Cardinal,” a painting with similarities to “Cardinals on Appleblossom” for Franklin Mint Corp. to reproduce and sell. National sued Franklin for