Jayme Gordon, a man who claimed that Dreamworks stole Kung Fu Panda from him and wanted a $12 million settlement, was sentenced yesterday to two years in federal prison.
A Massachusetts judge also ordered Gordon to repay Dreamworks more than $3 million in restitution, the amount that Dreamworks had to spend defending itself from Gordon’s frivolous lawsuit. It’s a relatively light sentence compared to the maximum amount of prison time he could have received.
What separated Gordon’s case from the typical intellectual property lawsuit against a Hollywood studio is that Gordon didn’t just claim that Dreamworks stole his idea, but he also created new artwork after he saw the trailer for Kung Fu Panda in 2008 and backdated it to make it appear that he had created the artwork first. (Full disclosure: I worked on the case as the art expert for Dreamworks’ legal defense team.)