John Joseph Kirby Jr.
October 22, 1939
Falls Church, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||October 2, 2019 79)(aged|
Susan Cullman(m. 2004)
|Relatives||Edgar M. Cullman (father-in-law)|
John Joseph Kirby Jr. (October 22, 1939 – October 2, 2019) was an American attorney. He was most notable for his successful defense for Nintendo against Universal City Studios over the copyrightability of the character of Donkey Kong in 1984, from which Nintendo subsequently named the character Kirby to honor him.
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises of all-time, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.
Donkey Kong or DK is a fictional character who appears in games belonging to the Donkey Kong and Mario video game franchises. He is a gorilla and Mario's friendly rival. A popular character, DK has appeared in many video games, along with his nephew Diddy Kong. Donkey Kong appeared as Mario's first opponent in the game bearing the ape's name, Nintendo's popular 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong. Since then he has starred in his own series of games, starting with sequel's of the arcade game and, later, 1994's Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). He remains an important character in the Mario series, such as the Mario Kart games. DK debuted at the same time as Mario, and he still appears with the plumber on occasion, appearing as a playable character in the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. series, and is the primary antagonist in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games that started in 2004.
Kirby was born in Falls Church, Virginia, on October 22, 1939, to John Joseph Kirby, a lawyer with the federal government for over 40 years, and Rose L. Mangan Kirby, a home maker.He had two brothers, Peter Kirby and Michael Kirby, and two sisters Lisa Greissing and Cecelia Wrasse.
Falls Church is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,332. The estimated population in 2018 was 14,772. Falls Church is included in the Washington metropolitan area. Falls Church has the lowest level of poverty of any independent city or county in the United States.
During his younger days, Kirby worked at the Department of Justice as the special assistant to the head of the Civil Rights Division, John Doar, during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. At the Department of Justice, where he first worked as a summer intern, he gathered voting records throughout the South that demonstrated evidence of widespread discrimination against African-Americans. His discovery of methods such as literacy tests specifically designed to exclude African-Americans from voting helped form the basis of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. While at the Civil Rights Division, he also found himself personally escorting African-American children into segregated schools, surrounded by federal marshals. Later, he was appointed Deputy Director to the President's Commission on Campus Unrest, founded in the aftermath of the killings of four students at Kent State University. Over a legal career spanning four decades, Kirby argued in front of the Supreme Court and served as the chairman of the historic Wall Street law firm Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon, before joining the international law firm Latham & Watkins LLP in 1995 to chair their New York Litigation Department.
The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division is the institution within the federal government responsible for enforcing federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, and national origin. The Division was established on December 9, 1957, by order of Attorney General William P. Rogers, after the Civil Rights Act of 1957 created the office of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, who has since then headed the division. The head of the Civil Rights Division is an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights (AAG-CR) appointed by the President of the United States. The current AAG-CR is Eric Dreiband.
John Andrew Doar was an American lawyer and senior counsel with the law firm Doar Rieck Kaley & Mack in New York City. He had a notable role as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights from 1961 to 1965 and as head of the division from 1965 until 1967, during the civil rights years of the administrations of presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He led the government's response in events such as the admission and protection of James Meredith as the first black student to the University of Mississippi, as well as the evolving response to the civil rights movement promoting integration and voter registration in the South.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the civil rights movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections. Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act secured the right to vote for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of federal civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.
Kirby was employed by the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP until June 30, 2007, where he served as head of the New York office's Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group and chairman of the New York Litigation Department from 1995 to 2004. Kirby represented a number of notable corporations in legal disputes, among which the likes of PepsiCo., General Foods, and Warner-Lambert.One of his most well-known cases was Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. (1984). In this case, he defended Nintendo against litigation from Universal City Studios in a dispute revolving around the video game Donkey Kong , which Universal claimed to be illegally based on King Kong . Kirby won the case, a landmark victory for Nintendo, by presenting evidence that Universal had previously won a legal battle against RKO that stated the story and characters of King Kong were in the public domain; thus, Universal had no legal right to claim ownership of the characters and basic scenario (man rescuing a woman from a large ape) when the studio originally threatened legal action against Nintendo. For this defense, Kirby was considered to have "saved Nintendo" during its early growth into video games into the American market.
General Foods Corporation was a company whose direct predecessor was established in the USA by Charles William Post as the Postum Cereal Company in 1895. The name General Foods was adopted in 1929, after several corporate acquisitions. In November 1985, General Foods was acquired by Philip Morris Companies for $5.6 billion, the largest non-oil acquisition to that time. In December 1988, Philip Morris acquired Kraft, Inc., and, in 1990, combined the two food companies as Kraft General Foods (KGF). "General Foods" was dropped from the corporate name in 1995; a line of caffeinated hot beverage mixes continued to carry the General Foods International name until 2010.
Pfizer Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation headquartered in New York City was founded in 1849, based in New York City and was listed on New York Stock Exchange. It is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and its shares have been a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 2004. Pfizer ranked No. 57 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. was a case heard by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by Judge Robert W. Sweet. In their complaint, Universal Studios alleged that Nintendo's video game Donkey Kong was a trademark infringement of King Kong, the plot and characters of which Universal claimed as their own. Nintendo argued that Universal had themselves proven that King Kong's plot and characters were in the public domain in Universal City Studios, Inc. v. RKO General, Inc.
In thanks for aiding them, Nintendo gave Kirby a $30,000 sailboat christened the Donkey Kong along with "exclusive worldwide rights to use the name for sailboats."Shigeru Miyamoto also stated that the name of the character Kirby was chosen in honor of Kirby. It is rumored that a copy of the game Kirby's Dream Land was eventually sent to Kirby, who was humored and flattered.
Shigeru Miyamoto is a Japanese video game designer and producer at Nintendo, where he serves as one of its representative directors. He is the creator of some of the most acclaimed and best-selling game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero, and Donkey Kong.
Kirby is a fictional character and the titular protagonist of the Kirby series of video games owned by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory. As one of Nintendo's most famous and familiar icons, Kirby's round appearance and ability to copy his foes' powers has made him a well-known figure in video games, consistently ranked as one of the most iconic video game characters. He first appeared in 1992 in Kirby's Dream Land for the Game Boy. Originally a placeholder, created by Masahiro Sakurai, at the age of 19, for the game's early development, he has since then starred in over 20 games, ranging from action platformers to puzzle, racing, and even pinball, and has been featured as a playable fighter in all Super Smash Bros. games. He has also starred in his own anime and manga series. His most recent appearance is in Kirby Star Allies, for the Nintendo Switch. Since 1999, he has been voiced by Makiko Ohmoto.
Kirby's Dream Land is an action platform video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. Released in 1992, it is the first video game in the Kirby series and the debut of Kirby. As the inaugural Kirby title it created many conventions that would appear in later games in the series. However, Kirby's iconic copy ability would not appear until Kirby's Adventure, released less than one year later.
Kirby was married to Susan Cullman, daughter of Edgar M. Cullman.He had three children from a previous marriage: Perrin Patricia Lucia Kirby, Timothy James Kirby, and John Andrew Pickens Kirby (married to Daphne Pinkerson, the co-founder of Blowback Productions); and a stepdaughter, Carolyn Sicher.
Edgar M. Cullman was an American businessman who served as President and CEO of General Cigar Company and is credited with transforming the image of cigars.
Blowback Productions is an independent film and television production company founded in 1988 by Marc Levin. Levin and his producing partner Daphne Pinkerson have made over 20 films and won numerous awards.
Kirby died on October 2, 2019, due to complications from myelodysplastic syndrome, 20 days before his 80th birthday.
Mario is a fictional character in the Mario video game franchise, owned by Nintendo and created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Acting as the company's mascot, as well as being the eponymous protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who resides in the Mushroom Kingdom, his adventures generally center upon rescuing Princess Peach from the Koopa villain Bowser. His fraternal twin brother and sidekick is Luigi.
Donkey Kong Country is a 1994 platform game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, as part of the Donkey Kong franchise created by Shigeru Miyamoto. The game centers on the duo of Donkey Kong and his nephew Diddy Kong, who are on a quest to recover their stolen banana hoard from King K. Rool and his henchmen Kremlings.
Radar Scope is an early cabinet arcade game developed and published by Nintendo in December 1979. It is a shooter that can be viewed as a cross between Taito's Space Invaders and Namco's Galaxian. It was released in three types of arcade cabinets: upright, cockpit, and cocktail.
King K. Rool is a fictional anthropomorphic crocodile and the main antagonist of Nintendo's Donkey Kong video game franchise, as well as the archenemy of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. K. Rool is the hot-tempered leader of a group of crocodilian raiders known as the Kremlings, who have crossed paths with the Kongs on many occasions. First appearing in the 1994 video game Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, he has been described as being "to Donkey Kong what Bowser is to Mario". He is depicted as a crazed Kremling who frequently feigns defeat in order to deceive the Kongs; he tricks them by wearing different costumes, and utilizes a variety of gadgets to his advantage. K. Rool resembles an overweight crocodile with an infected, bulging eye. The name "K. Rool" is a play on the word "cruel", a nod to his malevolent nature. In addition to video games, K. Rool has appeared in the manga adaption of Donkey Kong Country, the Donkey Kong Country animated series, comics, and several pieces of Nintendo merchandise.
Donkey Kong Jr. is a 1982 platform game that was released by Nintendo. It is the sequel to Donkey Kong, which featured Mario as the hero and Donkey Kong Junior's father as the villain; the roles are reversed here. It first appeared in arcades, and, over the course of the 1980s, was released for a variety of home platforms. The game's title is written out as Donkey Kong Junior in the North American arcade version and various ports to non-Nintendo systems.
Donkey Kong is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. An early example of the platform game genre, the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Mario must rescue a damsel in distress named Pauline, from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. The hero and ape later became two of Nintendo's most popular and recognizable characters. Donkey Kong is one of the most important games from the golden age of arcade video games as well as one of the most popular arcade games of all time.
Retro Studios, Inc. is an American video game developer and subsidiary of Nintendo based in Austin, Texas. The studio is best known for its work on the Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country series, and has contributed to several other Nintendo-developed projects, such as Metroid Prime Hunters and Mario Kart 7.
Howard Charles Lincoln is an American lawyer and businessman, known primarily for being the former chairman of Nintendo of America and the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Seattle Mariners baseball team, representing absentee majority owner Hiroshi Yamauchi until Yamauchi died on September 19, 2013.
Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development Division, commonly abbreviated as Nintendo EAD, formerly Nintendo Research & Development 4 Department, was formerly the largest software development division inside of Nintendo. It was preceded by the Creative Department, a team of designers with backgrounds in art responsible for many different tasks, to which Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka originally belonged. Both served as managers of the EAD studios and were credited in every game developed by the division, with varying degrees of involvement. Nintendo EAD was best known for its work on games in the Donkey Kong, Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero, Star Fox, Animal Crossing, Pikmin and Wii series.
Baseball is a 1983 video game from Nintendo. Being a launch game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the universal appeal of its namesake sport, are said to have made Baseball a key to the system's overall success, and an important piece of Nintendo history.
The Shigeru Miyamoto gameography includes all video games directed, produced, or designed by Shigeru Miyamoto. Hired in 1977 at Nintendo Co, Ltd. by president Hiroshi Yamauchi for his toy creations, Miyamoto's video game career began as Nintendo entered the arcade video game market in the late 1970s, and continued to grow the company itself and take an increasing leadership role. His video game contributions began with arcade cabinet art, then pixel art design as in the arcade Sheriff (1979), full game codevelopment roles as in the arcade Radar Scope (1979), primary concept and development roles as in Nintendo's first phenomenal hit Donkey Kong (1981), and his first console-only game Devil World (1984). Miyamoto has become one of the most influential video game designers of all time, having started video game franchises such as Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda.
Philip Jonathan Perry is an American attorney and was a political appointee in the administration of George W. Bush. He was acting associate attorney general at the Department of Justice, general counsel of the Office of Management and Budget, and general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security. He is a partner at Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C. He has handled matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and U.S. District Courts across the country. He is known both for his pioneering work litigating biotechnology issues and his work on constitutional and federal regulatory maters. Perry was named a "Litigation Trailblazer" by the National Law Journal in 2018 for his "remarkable successes" in litigation, and has seen continued success in 2019, winning cases in both federal appellate and trial courts. He is the son-in-law of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Latham & Watkins LLP is an American law firm founded in 1934. As of 2019, it is the world's second highest-grossing law firm, with US$ 3.4 billion in annual revenue.
The Mario franchise is a media franchise, published and produced by video game company Nintendo, starring the fictional Italian character Mario. It is primarily a video game franchise, with the franchise's other forms of media including several television series and a feature film. It was originally created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto with the arcade game Donkey Kong, released on July 9, 1981. The games have been developed by a variety of developers including Nintendo, Hudson Soft, and AlphaDream. Most Mario games have been released for Nintendo's various video game consoles and handhelds, from the third generation onward.
Donkey Kong Country Returns is a side-scrolling platformer video game developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Wii console. The game was released first in North America in November 2010, and in PAL regions and Japan the following month. A stereoscopic port of the game, titled Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, was released for the Nintendo 3DS in May 2013, and in Japan the following month.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a side-scrolling platformer video game developed by Retro Studios, with assistance from Monster Games, and published by Nintendo for the Wii U. The sixth installment in the main Donkey Kong Country series, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the direct sequel to the 2010 Wii game, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and was released worldwide in February 2014. An enhanced port for the Nintendo Switch was released in May 2018.