Bogart's estate officials threatened legal action against the retailer last month (Apr12) after an image of the actor wearing a Burberry trenchcoat in classic movie Casablanca was used in a recent promotional campaign on Facebook.com.
But on Wednesday (02May12) Burberry fired back by filing legal documents against the executors at a New York federal court, claiming First Amendment protection.
And Bogart LLC attorney Michael O. Crain isn't pleased, stating, "Just as Burberry needed to obtain (Burberry model) Emma Watson's consent before using her name and image to promote Burberry's brand and products, it needed to obtain permission from the Bogart Estate to use Humphrey Bogart's name and image in its social media marketing campaign."
Burberry bosses claim they licensed a photo from an agency of Bogart in the final scene of the 1942 film and simply intended to use it to illustrate "the significance and influence of Burberry fashion in society."
They insist the use of the iconic image isn't commercial, adding, "It's a historical positioning of the image within an educational project along with numerous other photographs of people wearing Burberry apparel over the last century."