As previously reported, noted author Harper Lee sued her hometown museum for improperly profiting off her trademarks. With the announcement this week that a settlement had finally been reached in the case, Ms. Lee’s lawyers, and the lawyers for Monroe County Heritage Museum, asked the court to dismiss the case. Of course, the terms of the settlement have not been made public, though the museum has previously denied allegations that it demanded a royalty-free license for the merchandise it sold.
While most litigation ends in settlement, it is interesting to note that this is not the first time a “settlement” has been reached in this case. News reports indicate that a settlement was reached in February of this year, but Ms. Lee did not sign the agreement. In fact, it was necessary for Ms. Lee’s attorneys to back track from their dismissal of the case and obtain a reinstatement so her claims could proceed.
The moral of the story is that a case is not over until it’s over.