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Judge tosses music bond lawsuit

Bowie bonds not Pullman's intellectual prop, judge says

A New York state judge has tossed a suit by the creator of Wall Street’s so-called Bowie bonds who had claimed that Prudential Securities elbowed him out of a deal to sell other securities of the same type.

At issue was whether Prudential and partners CAK/Universal Credit could sell music-backed bonds modeled after the Bowie bonds that investment banker David Pullman had fashioned. Pullman, then an employee of the Fahnestock investment firm in New York, pioneered a niche specialty in the asset-backed securities business in 1997 by arranging a $55 million bond sale for musician David Bowie.

Pullman, who later moved to the Gruntal investment firm and then launched his own, also has completed bond sales for James Brown and Ashford & Simpson as well as the songwriting team of Edward Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland. All of the deals involve the sale of securities in which interest payments are supported by artists’ future album sales or copyright fees.

In his suit, filed last year, Pullman erred in laying personal claim to any intellectual property rights involved in the case as he was merely an employee of the two investment firms during the relevant period, New York state Supreme Court Justice Beatrice Shainswit ruled.

“Any such intellectual property therefore belongs either to Gruntal or Fahnestock,” the judge wrote.

Pullman was not available for comment.

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