No 'First Contact' LawsuitBy Christian
April 3, 2000 - 10:22 PM
Cinescape is reporting that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has dismissed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, which was brought on by the heirs of science fiction author William F. Jenkins. The heirs were apparently claiming ownership of the term 'First Contact', and were complaining over Paramount's use of the term in the 8th Star Trek movie.
Fortunately for Paramount, the court ruled that the heirs could not claim trademark status to the term, which was the title of a story written by Jenkins. Had the court ruled otherwise, the studio would have likely had to pay a large fine in reparation for using the term in both 'Star Trek: First Contact' and the many Trek episodes over the years that also featured the term.
Jenkins, who mostly wrote under the name Murray Leinster, published a story with the title 'First Contact' in the May 1945 issue of legendary SF mag 'Astounding', according to this bibliography. The story can be found in First Contacts: The Essential Murray Leinster, a collection of Jenkins' best stories. In another Star Trek connection, Leonard Nimoy filmed a video introduction to Jenkins' story 'City on the Moon' for the Leonard Nimoy Science Fiction Volume 2 CD-Rom.