The Texas Court of Appeals upheld an injunction preventing Regal Entertainment from using “clearances” that would stop our client, iPic Entertainment, from showing first-run movies at its new luxury theater in Houston. The court issued a lengthy, careful opinion, reflecting a close review of the factual record and weighing of key legal issues. It noted the substantial difference between iPic boutique theaters and Regal megaplexes, the few customers who would find the theaters to be interchangeable, and the fact that all 70 of Regal’s clearance zones in the U.S. are mutually agreed except for Houston. Crucial to the case, the court noted the evidence that, but for Regal’s threats, movie studios would have chosen to license their films to both theaters. The court affirmed the finding that these actions threatened iPic with imminent, irreparable injury.
This appellate opinion extends the injunction against Regal that was issued in January 2016, when iPic sued in state court under the Texas Antitrust Act to stop anticompetitive conduct by Regal and AMC Entertainment. State District Judge Wesley Ward ruled then that there was a “substantial likelihood” that iPic will prove at trial that the theaters at issue are not in “substantial competition” and issued an injunction through the trial date, now set for early 2017.
In May 2016, Yetter Coleman defeated a summary judgment motion by AMC to dismiss iPic’s antitrust claims. The trial court found sufficient evidence of an illegal conspiracy between AMC and Regal.
Yetter Coleman’s appellate team is led by Reagan Simpson, assisted by Rich Farrer. The trial team is led by Paul Yetter and Bryce Callahan, assisted by Doug Griffith, Jane Ray, Elizabeth Wyman, and Stephani Brannan.