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Judge: Game doesn’t violate strip club trademark

SAN FRANCISCO—A federal appeals court says makers of the best-selling video game, “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” did not violate a Los Angeles strip club’s trademark.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a claim Thursday that Rockstar Games Inc., the game’s creator, violated the PlayPen Gentleman’s Club logo.

The PlayPen is in East Los Angeles; The fictional Pig Pen is in East Los Santos.

Though the game’s designers admit to being inspired by the strip club, Rockstar argued it’s protected under the First Amendment. PlayPen attorney Robert F. Helfing said the court opinion sets an unfair precedent.

In a ruling, Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote, “Video games and strip clubs do not go together like a horse and carriage or, perish the thought, love and marriage.”

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