SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Back in the early 1930s, a magician by the name of Horace Goldin went to court to defend his signature illusion: sawing a woman in half.
Mr. Goldin filed a lawsuit against the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for using this magic trick in an advertisement and explaining how it worked. According to an article in The New York Times from March 1933, Mr. Goldin, who had won a patent for the illusion a decade earlier, asserted that the ad had adversely affected his ability to get people to see his shows. He asked for $50,000 in damages. (That's about $865,000 in today's dollars.)