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Crocodile Dundee Star Suing Aussie Burger Chain Grill'd For Copyright Breach

Paul Hogan's knife drama

Crocodile Dundee Star Suing Aussie Burger Chain Grill'd For Copyright Breach NFSA/Grill'd

Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan is reportedly taking legal action against Aussie burger chain Grill'd after it used one of the movie's catchphrases on store merchandise.

The famous line 'That's not a knife, that's a knife' is printed on the company's cutlery sleeves and the 78-year-old is claiming it's a blatant copyright breach, because it falsely represents that the quote was sanctioned by him.

According to News Corp, Hogan is seeking increased 'exemplary damages'.


Law expert at Melbourne's Swinburne University of Technology Dan Hunter said there are a couple of different ways the star could spin the case.

"The idea that his rights of celebrity have been infringed by using that particular expression and Grill'd are in someway associating Paul Hogan with the burger chain, it's a pretty weak claim," he said.

"He's sort of saying, look... because of the amount of people that have heard him say those words, they're associated with him and not just the character, Mick Dundee. It's very complicated when you start to pull it apart as far as property ownership goes, a character itself, you don't really have celebrity rights over it in the way that he's claiming. But I don't think it'll get up in court."

While Australian Copyright Council CEO Fiona Phillips believes Hogan is more likely to have a case under the Consumer Protection Act, rather than copyright law.

"Normally a slogan would not be protected by copyright. So what he may try to argue, is because that line is so recognisable with the movie, that it's an infringement of the movie script, which he co-wrote," she said.

"He could also argue is that Grill'd tried to create an association with him as though he's endorsed the burger chain, and as you know those kind of endorsements are incredibly lucrative for celebrities. So basically he's saying they're getting a 'free ride' off some connection with 'Mick Dundee'".

"In Australia, there isn't a protection for personality rights and we don't have a tradition of protecting single lines. So it'll all hang on if the court finds that the particular line was a substantial part of the movie."