On March 4, 2020, Arnold Schwarzenegger (through his company, Oak Productions, Inc.) filed a lawsuit in a California state court against ASAP Group, LLC (doing business as Promobot). See Oak Prods., Inc. v. ASAP Grp., LLC, No. 20SMCV00347 (Mar. 4, 2020). According to the complaint, Promobot manufactures customizable service robots that can be made to look like real people, and it has “made Schwarzenegger the unwilling ‘face’ of Promobot” by marketing a robot made in the former governor’s likeness without his permission.
Specifically, Schwarzenegger’s complaint lists four causes of action, based on (1) California Civil Code section 3344; (2) common law right of publicity; (3) unjust enrichment; and (4) unfair business practices (i.e., likelihood of confusion regarding whether Schwarzenegger has endorsed Promobot). And although the case is still in its infancy, it is worth noting that this is not the first time a celebrity has brought right of publicity claims against the use of a robot that resembles her or him.