| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Dec 21 The studio that made "The
Godfather" movies has settled a lawsuit with the estate of
author Mario Puzo, who created the Mafia family saga.
Paramount Pictures Corp sued in February in an attempt to
block a new book in the "Godfather" series, which it said was
being published without its permission and in violation of
Notice of the settlement was filed in the U.S. District
Court in New York on Thursday, but terms were not disclosed as
the "parties have agreed that the terms of the settlement are
confidential," said Richard Kendall, a lawyer for Paramount, a
unit of Viacom Inc.
"We're very pleased with the settlement," said Bertram
Fields, a lawyer for the Puzo estate.
Puzo, who died in 1999, was the author of the 1969
bestseller "The Godfather" and other novels on the same theme.
Paramount sued Puzo's estate in February, saying it had
approved sequels without the movie studio's permission and in
violation of its copyrights.
The family had received Paramount's permission for the
publication of only one sequel, "The Godfather Returns," by Mark
Winegardner, in 2004.
The Puzo family moved ahead with a second sequel, "The
Godfather's Revenge," by Winegardner in 2006, w ithout
Paramount's permission, t he lawsuit said.
A third book, a prequel called "The Family Corleone" by Ed
Falco, was released by Grand Central Publishing in May. An
interim settlement agreement provided that funds earned from the
book would go into escrow, according to a September court
In the lawsuit, Paramount also claimed its agreements with
Pu zo a utomatically gave it motion picture rights to "The Family
Corleone" and any other sequels.
The estate filed a counterclaim in March seeking $10 million
and accusing the studio of breaching a 1969 agreement with Puzo.
It also asked the court to cancel Paramount's rights to the
original "The Godfather" book.
In September, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan
denied a motion by Paramount to dismiss the estate's
counterclaim, but dismissed the attempt to cancel the book
The case is Paramount Pictures Corporation v. Anthony Puzo,
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-1268.