The Deseret News — March 20, 1987

Lawyers close to settling Tom Petty’s suit
The Deseret News — Friday, March 20, 1987

LOS ANGELES — A lawyer for rock star Tom Petty said this week that lawyers are close to settling a suit that forced B.F. Goodrich to stop airing an advertisement featuring a song that closely resembles a tune Petty wrote.

Petty filed suit in U.S. District Court on  March 3, claiming B.F. Goodrich was using his song, “Mary’s New Car,” without his permission in a radio and television ad for radial tires.

Petty, 36, known for such hits as “Refugee” and “Break Down,” said he specifically denied Goodrich’s advertising agency, Grey Advertising, permission to use the song when they contacted him last year.

At a March 4 hearing, U.S. District Judge J. Spencer Letts watched a videotape of the commercial, listened to a tape of Petty’s song and said the words, music and tempo in the tire ad were “very much” like Petty’s song.

He issued a temporary restraining order barring Goodrich from showing the commercial pending another hearing for a preliminary injunction.

But Alan Dowling, Petty’s lawyer, said the hearing on the preliminary injunction was canceled to give attorneys time to work out a settlement in the case. The temporary restraining order, which would have expired last Friday, was extended 10 days, he said.

Dowling said the case was “basically settled,” but would not specify what issues were still unresolved.

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