Legal Brief Gives Historical Accounts of 'Deep Throat,' 'Devil'

Jun 6, 2011 5:30 PM PST

LAS VEGAS — Arrow Productions and VCX, still at loggerheads over copyright and trademark issues with “Deep Throat” and “The Devil in Miss Jones” classic adult motion pictures, are getting closer to adjudicating their differences in court.

A recent legal brief spells out the competitors' allegations about the two cult films produced in the early 1970s.

"Each motion picture had a number of sequels and, as such, [Arrow] alleges that the titles each qualify for trademark protection. Indeed, Deep Throat and Devil in Miss Jones each are [Arrow's] registered trademarks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office," the May 31 brief said.

The brief, filed at U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, goes on to say that Arrows contends that Linda Lovelace, who appears in the titles of a series of motion pictures, is Arrow's registered trademark, which VCX disputes that it qualifies for protection.

"There is no dispute that both Arrow and VCX distributed both motion pictures with their respective titles. The only issues are the validity and ownership of the two copyrights and the validity of the two trademarks."

The brief, available below, gives historic accounts about how the movies were able to be seen at public movie venues in the 1970s and why a courier hired by the real owner of "The Devil in Miss Jones" was arrested each day for three weeks during the opening of the movie at the Pussycat Theater in Hollywood, Calif.

It also goes into original ownership of the movies, as well as their dates of copyrights

In the 1970s, both movies were released by Louis “Butchie” Peraino, a member of the Columbo crime family, under the name Vanguard Films.

Financing for the "Deep Throat" was provided by Louis Peraino’s father Anthony “Big Tony” Peraino and his brother Joseph “Joey the Whale” Peraino, while "The Devil in Miss Jones" was financed by Louis and Joseph Peraino.

Later, Vanguard turned into Plymouth Distributing and then Arrow Film and Video, which is now known as Arrow Productions.

Fast forward to the 21st century, the “Deep Throat” brand has taken a life of its own and now is featured in an Arrow energy drink, T-shirts, shot glasses and posters, as well as the "Deeper Throat" reality TV series on Showtime.

The legal battle between Arrow Productions and VCX over “Deep Throat” and “The Devil in Miss Jones” was put back on the docket earlier this year after Arrow Productions owner Ray Pistol scuttled a settlement between the two companies just days after both parties informed the court an agreement between the two adult companies had been made.

Arrow’s attorney Clyde DeWitt said that in a second meeting over settlement terms with Pistol it became apparent there had been a mutual mistake between client and attorney concerning acceptable settlement terms.

VCX owner Dave Sutton earlier told XBIZ that he started distributing "Deep Throat" because Arrow had refused his repeated requests that it stop distributing two other classic films VCX said it has the rights to — "Debbie Does Dallas" and "The Devil in Miss Jones."

If Arrow would give up those two titles, Sutton said he'd give up "Deep Throat."

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