Tardigrade Lawsuit Dismissed

Here is a great article by Chris Peterson, who is a contributing writer for Daily Star Trek News on the Roddenberry Podcast Network.

Star Trek Discovery Season One
Commander Landry (Rekha Sharma) and Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) study a tardigrade in Star Trek: Discovery season one

Here’s Chris’s article and a link to
the News Site

The appeal filed by game developer Anas Abdin in a copyright infringement lawsuit against CBS has been dismissed by a judge in the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, upholding an earlier decision to dismiss the case. Abdin sued both CBS and Netflix in 2018, alleging that the use of the space-faring tardigrade on the first season of Star Trek: Discovery violated copyright law by taking concepts from a game Abdin had been designing since 2014. Tardigrades, or “water bears”, are microscopic creatures capable of surviving in nearly any environment imaginable, including space, and are the focal point of Abdin’s game.

A report from Gizmodo shed some light on the formal opinion to dismiss the case, written by Judge Chin, who presided over the appeal. After citing scientific research on the tardigrade, Judge Chin wrote that “Abdin’s space-traveling tardigrade is an unprotectable idea because it is a generalized expression of a scientific fact—namely, the known ability of a tardigrade to survive in space.” He went on to say that “by permitting Abdin to exclusively own the idea of a space-traveling tardigrade, this Court would improperly withdraw that idea from the public domain and stifle creativity naturally flowing from the scientific fact that tardigrades can survive the vacuum of space.”

What does that mean? It means that using the tardigrade and its survival characteristics in a creative property, such as Star Trek, is not a violation of copyright law. After this decision by the court, it seems the tardigrade is capable of surviving, not just in our own universe, but the Star Trek universe, as well.

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