Technically, this is not a family court case. But it’s pushing the envelope right on the edge.
Boyfriend has Dog. A really cute little dog.
Boyfriend and Dog take up residency with Girlfriend.
Boyfriend and Girlfriend make videos of Dog visiting New York City tourist attractions. They post the videos on a website featuring the Dog.
And visitors flock to Dog’s website.
By the tens of thousands per month.
Dog is a celebrity.
Then Boyfriend and Girlfriend breakup. Boyfriend and Dog move out.
And this is where things turn unpleasant. According to Boyfriend, Girlfriend seizes exclusive control of Dog’s website (remember, Dog is his) by stealing Boyfriend’s iPad and changing the passwords to Dog’s site … and tries to file a trademark on the site’s name.
Resorting to self-help, Boyfriend tries to grab Girlfriend’s iPhone to get his hands on the re-set passwords to Dog’s website. That doesn’t work.
And Boyfriend is arrested for petty larceny. And that’s the last straw.
Boyfriend starts a new website for Dog’s adventures. And sues Girfriend … for $500,000.
Girlfriend contends that Dog’s website, while popular, never generated any revenue for Boyfriend and Girlfriend.
It is unknown whether there is any dispute over visitation with Dog.
It must also be noted that the fact that Boyfriend owns Dog (that much at least does not appear to be in dispute), does not by itself entitle Boyfriend to sole ownership of the contents of Dog’s website, for which Girlfriend was the primary photographer.
Read more in this Good Morning America ABC News piece: Popular Pomeranian’s Website, ‘Sammy and the City,’ at Center of Lawsuit and this New York Post article: ‘Sammy and the City’ online fortune scuttled by ex: lawsuit.