You may remember back in 2014 when Robin Thicke, in addition to collaborators Pharrell and T.I., were sued by Marvin Gaye's heirs for essentially ripping off Gaye's 1977 track “Got to Give it Up” for their 2013 hit, “Blurred Lines.” In the end of the legal battle, a jury ruled that the “Blurred Lines” crew were, in fact, in the wrong and they were ordered to pay $5.3 million to Gaye's family.
In a new twist to the story, Gaye's family asked to be reimbursed for the $3.5 million they spent on legal fees and case expenses, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Thicke and Pharrell's attorney, Howard King, is trying to get out of paying the extra fees and claims that it sets a bad precedent for future cases. So, not only did King's clients infringe on a song from a musical legend, he also thinks it is inappropriate to pay back the money they spent to seek the legal recourse in this massive case.
King stated, “If fees are awarded here, it would send a message to anyone accuse[d] of infringement that, regardless of any legitimate basis to defend or serious questions as to the merits, a loss will necessarily result in an award of fees.”
Marvin Gaye's family's attorney countered King. “They made it a point of asking the Court to award them fees if they won, and, as we pointed out in our motion, used the threat of fees proactively.” Busch added,“As a result, we believe they really have no right to now argue that it is not fair for fees to be awarded to the Gaye family.”