On July 12, Sacha Baron Cohen (“SBC”)—English actor and comedian known best for his roles as Brüno Gehard, Admiral General Aladeen, Ali G, and Borat Sagdiyev—and his company, Please You Can Touch, LLC (“PYCT”) filed suit against Edward Dow III and Solar Therapeutics, Inc. (collectively, the “Defendants”) for, inter alia, copyright infringement of PYCT’s copyright of the Borat character. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Defendants’ use of a billboard with the “portrait, picture, image, likeness, and persona” of SBC and his famous character Borat Sagdiyev was unauthorized and done intentionally to cash in on the character’s fame and falsely represent that SBC had endorsed Defendants’ cannabis products.

The lawsuit was filed almost three months after SBC’s attorneys sent a cease-and-desist letter to Defendants, who promptly took down the billboard. In addition to seeking a permanent injunction enjoining Defendants from using SBC’s “portrait, picture, images, likeness, [and] persona,” the complaint requests relief by way of trebled statutory damages, actual and punitive damages, and disgorgement of profits attributable to the allegedly infringing billboard.


Solar Therapeutics’ Billboard


The case is Cohen v. Solar Therapeutics, Inc. and is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The image above is provided by SBC in the complaint, which can be found at the following link:  https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.mad.236304/gov.uscourts.mad.236304.1.0.pdf