Last March, Thicke and Williams were ruled to have infringed on Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up.” They were ordered to pay $5.3 million (£3.65m) in damages and give 50 per cent of the song’s future royalties to Gaye’s heirs.
As Billboard reports, the Gayes’ attorneys added $3.5 million (£2.41m) to that list in January, for fees and expenses.
Thick and Williams’ attorney Howard King has opposed the move, requesting that fees and costs be denied or at least reduced.
“If ever there was a case where the close nature of the dispute, the novel legal issues, and the important matters at stake merited denial of fees, this is that case,” King wrote in an opposition brief. “If fees are awarded here, it would send a message to anyone accuse[d] of infringement that, regardless of any legitimate basis to defend or serious questions as to the merits, a loss will necessarily result in an award of fees.”
Billboard asked the Gayes’ lawyer Richard Busch to comment on the new developments. He said that it was Thicke and Williams who first asked for fees to be awarded.
“They made it a point of asking the court to award them fees if they won, and, as we pointed out in our motion, used the threat of fees proactively,” Busch explained. “As a result, we believe they really have no right to now argue that it is not fair for fees to be awarded to the Gaye family.”