Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure

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Three Point Shot - June 2015

Jockeying for Dollars: Kentucky Downs Faces Two Lawsuits over Betting Machines - And they're off ... to the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. One of the country's premier racetracks,...more

Trademark Review | June 2015

Is PRETZEL CRISPS a Generic Term? Federal Circuit Resets Standard for Genericness - In an earlier precedential decision, the TTAB held there was a dichotomy in the standard for determining whether an applied-for mark...more

Sirius Wins One in Florida, Florida, Florida!

On June 22, 2015, the Southern District of Florida held that artists have no public performance rights in their pre-1972 sound recordings under Florida law, in contrast to decisions from California and New York in related...more

Copeland v. Bieber - USCA Fourth Circuit, June 18, 2015

Fourth Circuit vacates district court dismissal of copyright infringement claim against defendants Usher and Justin Bieber, finding that choruses in songs were sufficiently similar to withstand motion to dismiss, as...more

State Law Claims Suffer “Awfully Big Adventure”: New York Court Finds Federal Copyright Preemption in Dispute over Peter Pan...

On June 8, 2015, the New York County Supreme Court dismissed with prejudice eight of twelve state law claims brought by a producer seeking damages for the purportedly unauthorized use of his music in a world-wide production...more

Supreme Court Leaves Post-Patent Expiration Royalty Rule in Place

The U.S. Supreme Court today in Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC upheld the longstanding Brulotte rule that a patent owner cannot continue to receive royalties for sales made after its patent expires. In a 6-3 decision,...more

Richard Prince Once Again Pushes The Limits Of Fair Use

Richard Prince is either on the very edge of fair use or is engaging in blatant copyright infringement. Unlike most however, Prince has been down this road before; accused of infringement and a defense based entirely on fair...more

8th Circuit Revives Dismissed TCPA Action

On June 8, 2015, the 8th Circuit reversed the Eastern District of Missouri and revived class claims in Golan et al. v. Veritas Entertainment, LLC et al. In Golan, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants—producers of the...more

Power to the People: EU Court Rules LEGO’s “Minifigs” Are Protectable Trademarks

In our previous post, LEGO Tries New Angle To Guard Its IP Against Upstart MEGA BLOKS, we wrote about LEGO’s efforts to protect its IP against alleged knock-off brick makers. LEGO has now scored a victory in its ongoing...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Former NFL Player Defeats Fraud Allegations Which Results In Discharge Of Debt

On March 31, 2015, the Honorable Albert S. Dabrowski issued a decision in Hamrah v. Coulette (In re Coulette), Adv. Pro. No. 13-2039, concerning the issue of whether an obligation created by a failed business investment gives...more

Court Declines To Certify Damages Class in Baseball Blackout Suit

On May 14, 2015, the Southern District of New York issued two opinions in Laumann v. Nat’l Hockey League, No. 12-cv-1817, excluding plaintiffs’ damages expert under Daubert and denying plaintiffs’ motion to certify a damages...more

District Court Dismisses Data Breach Class Action Against GameStop, Inc.

The US District Court for the District of Minnesota recently dismissed a data breach class action against GameStop, Inc. and Sunrise Publications, Inc. (d/b/a Game Informer) for lack of constitutional standing because the...more

In re Tam – Federal Circuit Orders En Banc Review of Trademark Act’s Ban Against Registration of Disparaging Marks

The Slants is a Portland-based band composed of musicians of Asian-American descent who characterize their genre as “Chinatown Dance Rock.” The band’s bassist, Simon Tam, filed a trademark application for THE SLANTS for...more

Connecticut Court Possesses Personal Jurisdiction Over “Demonologist” Publisher

In the District of Connecticut, an out of state publisher with no alleged direct contacts with Connecticut recently lost its bid to have a case against it dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. Gerald Brittle sued...more

Michael Jordan Defends His Right to Remain in Court to Protect His Likeness

On March 19, 2015, Wilson Elser published “Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer,” an Alert concerning a case in which Michael Jordan was denied summary judgment on his...more

Flying Fenway Bat Calls New Attention to the Baseball Rule

A tragic accident often leads to calls for re-examination of a long-accepted part of culture. This past week, after a broken bat at Fenway Park seriously injured a fan, commentators are calling for a re-examination of the...more

Who’s on First? Depends if Fair Use is on Second and Public Domain is on Third

Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” brings back memories of my seventh-grade talent show where I performed the routine with Brandon Berry at Atascocita Middle School. I can’t remember if we won second or third place —...more

Swinging for the Fences: Minor Leaguers Continue Suit Alleging They Were Paid Peanuts By The MLB

Baseball season is well underway as fans fill themselves up on hot dogs and beers, don their rally caps for some late-inning luck, and cheer for their favorite players. Meanwhile, a class action against Major League Baseball...more

Another Round with Pacquiao?

It was inevitable. Following his “Fight of Century” with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 2, 2015, Manny Pacquiao has been named in a class action suit filed in Nashville for allegedly defrauding pay-per-view customers. The...more

Major League Baseball Is Exempt From The Antitrust Laws – Like It Or Not: The “Unrealistic,” “Inconsistent,” And “Illogical”...

The Athletics baseball team has been located in Oakland, California for many years. Several years ago, the A’s decided they would like to move their franchise to San Jose, which they anticipate would be a more profitable...more

En Banc Ninth Circuit Ruling Restores Certainty to Federal Recognition of "Indian Lands"

On June 4, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its en banc decision in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, a case in which Big Lagoon Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian tribe, sought to compel the State of...more

Led Zeppelin is Going to California

On May 31, 2014, members of the band Led Zeppelin and its publishers were sued for copyright infringement by Randy California, the former guitarist and front man of the band Spirit. The lawsuit, filed in the State of...more

Missouri Declares It Unconscionable For NFL Commissioner to Arbitrate Employment Dispute

The Supreme Court of Missouri has issued two significant arbitration decisions in recent weeks, showing its willingness to sever any aspects of an arbitration agreement that it finds unconscionable (while enforcing the...more

“Desert Warrior” Vanquished: Google Defeats Cindy Lee Garcia’s Copyright Claims

Cindy Lee Garcia thought she was playing a bit part in “Desert Warrior,” an adventure film being made by an amateur film maker. The film was never completed. Instead, Ms. Garcia’s performance was re-purposed, and her physical...more

Lawyer Who Started Fight Over "R-Word" Mascot Awaits Decision

About a quarter century ago, Steve Baird — at the time, a freshly minted graduate of the University of Iowa law school clerking for a federal judge in Washington, D.C. — was spending most of his free weekends working on an...more

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