Monday, November 08, 2004

News Watch
Ex-Girlfriend Can Press Claims Against Best-Selling Author

New York Lawyer
November 5, 2004

By Mark Fass
New York Law Journal

A lawsuit charging popular novelist James Patterson with breach of contract and copyright infringement will proceed following a Southern District judge's partial denial Wednesday of Mr. Patterson's motion to dismiss.

Christina P. Sharp met Mr. Patterson in June 1996 and they soon planned to marry.

"In tandem with their romantic relationship, Sharp alleges, the two 'developed a close professional relationship,' in which Patterson discussed problems with his writing, and Sharp helped by acting 'as a sounding board and [making] suggestions,'" wrote Judge Gerard E. Lynch.

Mr. Patterson ended the relationship in April 1997. Following his publication of his bestseller "Cat and Mouse" (which allegedly incorporates Ms. Sharp's work into the text) and "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" (allegedly based on her idea), Ms. Sharp filed suit.

The court dismissed seven other charges, including misappropriation and unjust enrichment, letting stand the charges of copyright infringement and breach of express or implied contract. Sharp v. Patterson, 03 Civ. 8772, will be published Wednesday in the New York LAw Journal.

Ex-Girlfriend Can Press Claims Against Best-Selling Author

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