Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure

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Play Ball! California Federal Court Reconsiders Order Denying Minor League Baseball Players’ Motion For Class Certification

The Northern District of California recently renewed hope in a minor league baseball player class action wage dispute by granting the plaintiffs class certification after they narrowed the class. The court had previously...more

Be Aggressive, B-E Aggressive – SCOTUS Encourages IP Plaintiffs

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided two much anticipated intellectual property cases. Supreme Court Rejects Laches in Patent Infringement Cases - The first, SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag et al. v. First Quality...more

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y for the Fashion Industry: SCOTUS Establishes Uniform Test for Protection of Artistic Works Applied to Apparel

The overall design (such as the shape and cut) of a garment, bag or shoe is not protectable under current U.S. Copyright law because such items are considered “useful articles.” However, Section 101 of the Copyright Act...more

Brewery and Beer Distributor Sued over Promotional Contest

A North Carolina woman has commenced legal action against Anheuser-Busch, LLC (“Anheuser-Busch”) and its North Carolina distributor, R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company (“R.A. Jeffreys”), in connection with Anheuser-Busch’s...more

Mississippi Enacts Fantasy Sports Legislation

Mississippi became the first state to enact fantasy sports legislation in 2017 when Governor Phil Bryant signed HB 967 into law last week. The law is set to go into effect on July 1, 2017, though the State will start...more

Defendant Wipes Out After Getting Caught in the Riptide and Is Sanctioned for Ill-Conceived Motion to Compel in Surf Tech...

This case presents an example of a district court’s use of the “proportionality” requirement of Rule 26 to limit overbroad discovery. On March 9, 2017, Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major of the District Court for the Southern...more

Curiouser and Curiouser: Copyrights and Trademark Rights are Not Perfect Reflections

Much like the world of Underland created in Lewis Carroll’s book Alice Through the Looking Glass, the blurring between copyright and trademark rights can create a topsy-turvy universe....more

Massachusetts SJC Allows for Limited Judicial Review of Gaming Decisions by Unsuccessful License Applicants

In a unanimous decision issued on Friday, authored by outgoing Justice Margot Botsford, Massachusetts’s highest court allowed Mohegan Sun’s challenge to the state Gaming Commission’s 2014 award of a gaming license to...more

SpongeBob Restaurant Found To Infringe Viacom’s Trademark

On January 11, 2017, the Southern District of Texas granted Viacom International Inc. summary judgment on its trademark infringement claim against IJR Capital Investments, LLC’s name for its proposed restaurant, “The Krusty...more

The UFC’s Biggest Bout Yet: Its Battle Against Its Fighters’ Antitrust Lawsuit

We have not previously reported on an antitrust litigation that is enveloping the mixed martial arts (“MMA”) world. Six current and former MMA fighters have filed a class action lawsuit against the company that owns the UFC,...more

Bieber, Beer, and… Protective Orders

On February 8, 2017, pop star Justin Bieber was scheduled to be deposed in Santa Monica, California. Lawyers traveled from Nashville to California for the deposition, but upon arrival they were informed Bieber was too ill to...more

Sea Change in Nazi-looted Art Claims? The HEAR Act is Put Into Action

Two pending cases have invoked the new law - A recent article in the New York Times highlights the change that the recent passage of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act of 2016 has had on disputes about...more

The California Court Of Appeal Weighs In: The Development And Production Of An Entertainment Program Is Protected Under The...

In a recent 50-page published opinion, the California Court of Appeal determined that offensive and derogatory language on a movie set was protected activity under the anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (or...more

Jersey Boys: The Curtain Call For Two Copyright Claims

Last month, the Broadway hit-musical Jersey Boys closed its doors after a spectacular eleven-year run. As someone who hails from the great state of New Jersey and who saw the show twice, I thought it was only appropriate to...more

Defamation Law Series: Court Affirms Dismissal Of Claims Against Actor Marlon Wayans

In Daniel v. Wayans, The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s decision to grant actor Marlon Wayans’ anti-SLAPP motion against Pierre Daniel. Daniel worked as an extra on the movie A Haunted House...more

Actors’ Ages to Remain Available Online (At Least for Now)

A federal court has granted IMDb’s request for a preliminary injunction to allow the entertainment website to keep actors’ ages in their online profiles – despite the enactment of a statute in California prohibiting same....more

Please Release Me, Let Me Go: Court Affirms The Appointment Of A Receiver Over Ray Price’s Assets Pending A Contest

In In re Estate of Price, Ray Price, a renowned country music singer and songwriter, died in 2013 and was survived by his wife and his biological son. No. 06-16-00062-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1265 (Tex. App.—Texarkana...more

Minor Golf Cart Collision on Indiana Courses Considered “Ordinary Behavior” and an Inherent Risk in the Game of Golf

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently found that a man’s negligence claim against a fellow golfer who struck the back of his golf cart cannot succeed because driving a golf cart is normal behavior, with its attendant risks,...more

No Love For Proposed Consumer Class Settlements

Two consumer class actions recently hit a roadblock when courts denied final approval for class settlements. In In re Target Consumer Data Security Breach, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota preliminarily...more

Three Point Shot - February 2017

Ski Manufacturer Chills Bode Miller's Comeback - World champion skier and six-time Olympic medalist Samuel "Bode" Miller had his eye on coming out of retirement for the 2016-17 season before a contract dispute with his...more

The Apple May Not Fall Far from the Fashion Industry

In 2011, Apple sued Samsung alleging among other things that various portions of Samsung smartphone products infringed claims of certain design patents owned by Apple (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.). In 2012,...more

Paul McCartney chants 'Get Back' again – The Future of Copyright Termination

The US Copyright Act of 1976 allows artists, writers, and musicians to “get back” grants of copyrights that had been previously licensed or assigned away. Specifically, artists can “terminate” their copyright arrangements...more

The Supreme Court Tackles Disparaging Trademarks

From my title, you may think I am referring to the battle over the REDSKINS trademark. However, the In re Tam case beat the REDSKINS team to the high court. The case involving the REDSKINS mark is currently on hold until...more

New York Fashion Week: A Lineup of The Most Fashionable Trademark and Copyright Claims

It’s that time of the year again when New York City becomes the most fashionable place on the planet. While I would argue that Manhattan is always fashionable, New York Fashion Week adds a bit of extra excitement, glamour and...more

The Supreme Court’s Fashionable Case: Implications for Expanding Copyright Protection to Apparel

Currently before the United States Supreme Court is the question: “[w]hat is the appropriate test to determine when a feature of the design of a useful article is protectable under § 101 of the Copyright Act.”1 Put another...more

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