Update: ‘Hangover II’ Tattoo Lawsuit: Warner Bros. Will Alter DVDs If Case Doesn’t Settle Soon

Many of you have wanted to know what happened in the Tyson artist tattoo case i.e. The release of Hangover II? For one you now know Hangover II was released in theaters and is raking in millions. The Judge in permitting the release found it significant that Warner had already spent over $80million in marketing the film.  Now the follow up to that by THR,Esq. who has an exclusive update on the case.

“Helms’ face might look very different when The Hangover Part II comes to DVD and Blu-ray in December.

Warner Bros. has told a Missouri judge that if it can’t resolve the ongoing legal fracas over the tattoo on display in the mega-grossing comedy by the time it comes out on home video, the studio will digitally alter the controversial mark on Helms’ face.

As you’ll recall, Warners was sued by a Missouri tattoo artist who claims he owns a copyright on the unique tattoo worn by former boxer Mike Tyson and Helms in Hangover II. The tattoo’s owner, S. Victor Whitmill, attempted to stop the film’s release but was denied a preliminary injunction. Hangover II has since grossed $350 million worldwide and counting.

The case has continued, however, and U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry today set a jury trial date for Feb. 21, 2012. At issue is whether to award Whitmill a permanent injunction against the film’s distribution and/or damages for copyright infringement.

Whitmill and his lawyers at St. Louis’ Brickhouse Law Group had sought a trial in August. But Warners, in opposing that extremely expedited schedule, submitted court documents arguing that such a quick resolution wasn’t necessary because the studio plans to whitewash the offending mark from the movie after its theatrical run, thus eliminating any further alleged damages to Whitmill from his copyrighted tattoo appearing in the film . . .”

Interesting innit. It also makes sense for Warner Bros. to go the route it is claiming to minimize damages and continued copyright violation. Grossing over $350million and counting? Hangover II is not looking to share that money, that’s for sure.

THR, Esq. has the full story.