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Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Art, Entertainment & Sports issues written by leading professionals.

Herzog Heirs Win Again in Appeals Court on Jurisdiction Over Hungarian Museums

by Sullivan & Worcester on

A federal appeals court has upheld the growing consensus that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) confers jurisdiction over foreign state actors in possession of art allegedly looted by and/or overseen by the Nazis....more

One Way Out: California District Court Finds Insurer Had Right to Pay Limits Despite Possible Defense

by Carlton Fields on

In Film Allman, LLC v. New York Marine and General Insurance Company, Inc., 2:14-cv-7069-ODW, (C.D. Cal. May 23, 2017), a California district court granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer of a production company. The...more

Update: Ban on Registering “Disparaging” Trademarks Unconstitutional

by Genova Burns LLC on

In a unanimous opinion based on differing rationale, the Supreme Court held that the federal prohibition on registering “disparaging” trademarks is unconstitutional. (Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293)....more

Supreme Court strikes down Lanham Act's disparagement clause as unconstitutional

by Dentons on

In a landmark decision that will significantly impact those seeking to block or cancel trademarks they consider offensive, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the "disparagement clause" of the federal trademark...more

SCOTUS: Supreme Court Holds Disparagement Clause of the Lanham Act Violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment

On June 19, 2017, in Matal v. Tam, previously Lee v. Tam, the Supreme Court handed down its most impactful interpretation of the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to date by holding that at its intersection with the...more

Supreme Court Holds Entities May Register Disparaging Trademarks

by Morgan Lewis on

The Lanham Act’s restriction on trademarks that disparage persons living or dead violates the First Amendment. Though the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has sometimes reversed its position on whether a...more

Supreme Court Holds THE SLANTS Can Be Registered as a Trademark: Disparagement Clause Violates the First Amendment

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

The Supreme Court today brought closure to Simon Tam’s seven-year legal journey seeking to obtain a federal trademark registration for his band name, THE SLANTS. The Court held in Matal v. Tam that the Lanham Act’s ban on...more

Trademark Newsflash: Supreme Court Strikes Down Disparagement Clause

Since 1946, when the Lanham Act was enacted, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied registration of any trademark that “consists of … matter which may disparage [any] persons living or dead….” Today,...more

MBHB Snippets: A review of developments in Intellectual Property Law - Volume 15, Issue 2

Preparing patent applications for examination at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires proficient writing, detailed knowledge of the requirements of the Patent Act, and technical acumen. Once a patent...more

Consumer Protection Class Action Lawsuit Over “Free” Candy Crush Plays Will Proceed

by Reed Smith on

A class action lawsuit against the developer of Candy Crush will continue in Illinois federal court. According to the complaint, Candy Crush, a popular mobile game, entices users into sharing the game with Facebook friends in...more

Prize Promoter Trudges Forward with March Madness Sweepstakes Lawsuit

by Klein Moynihan Turco LLP on

Prize promotion and risk management company SCA Promotions, Inc. (“SCA”) recently asked the Fifth Circuit to overturn a Dallas federal court’s judgment on appeal in SCA’s March Madness sweepstakes lawsuit against Yahoo! Inc....more

There are Few Absolutes In Likelihood of Confusion; Apparently Fame isn’t one of Them

In Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, [2016-1089] (May 24, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision denying cancellation of Fairmont’s Reg. No. 4213619 on the mark...more

The Artist Formerly Known As…Warhol

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Lynn Goldsmith is a professional photographer who rose to fame in the 1970’s for her portrait photography, especially for her work with musicians and other entertainers. Her work has appeared on over 100 album covers....more

Harvey Keitel Fails Twice to Prove Binding Contract to do Commercials for E*Trade

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

In an action for breach of contract, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs star Harvey Keitel sued E*Trade based upon a Term Sheet entered into between Keitel and advertising agency Ogilvey & Mather NY (“Ogilvey”) for the actor to...more

Professional Cheerleader Case Presents Independent Contractor and Joint Employer Lessons

by BakerHostetler on

Unlike, say, mortgage loan officers or computer programmers, the population of professional cheerleaders is relatively small, but an ongoing case involving independent contractor and joint employer issues for one such group...more

Could the Use of Online Volunteers and Moderators Increase Your Company’s Copyright Liability Exposure?

With over one billion websites on the Internet, and 211 million items of online content created every minute, it should come as no surprise that content curation is one of the hottest trends in the Internet industry. We are...more

Music Performing Rights Organizations and the “Full-Work” vs. “Fractional” Licensing Dispute: Government Seeks to Overturn...

by Brooks Pierce on

On Thursday, the United States filed its brief (link is external)in its appeal of a decision by the district court for the Southern District of New York (link is external), which rejected the US Department of Justice’s...more

“Say it Ain’t So Barry:” A Brief Commentary on United States v. Barry Lamar Bonds and the Elusive Definition of Obstruction of...

Politics can be a contact sport as is evident from the recent appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate alleged misdeeds by the Trump Administration including obstruction of justice. Ironically, the decision of an...more

Broadway Producers Awarded $90,000 from New York Jury

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

A New York jury found ex-publicist Marc Thibodeau liable for breach of contract and tortious interference for a Broadway production called Rebecca, which was supposed to premiere on Broadway. The jury did not find Thibodeau...more

Horseracing-based Fantasy Sports Game Found Illegal

In a follow up to a lawsuit we previously reported on, a California District Court ruled on summary judgment that a horseracing-based fantasy sports game constitutes illegal wagering....more

No Charges by ISP for Performing its Duties Under the Notice and Notice Regime

by Bennett Jones LLP on

Unlike many countries which provide an effective "notice and take down" remedy for copyright owners whose works are wrongly posted on Internet sites, Canada has implemented a "notice and notice" regime. In Voltage Pictures,...more

The Continuing Attack on Tribal Sovereign Immunity at the Supreme Court

by GableGotwals on

Immunity of tribal officers and employees from suit in state and federal court for tort liability should concern tribal governments engaged in gaming operations. Often, because of historical antecedents and general belief,...more

Important Open Source Ruling Confirms Enforceability of Dual-Licensing and Breach of GPL for Failing to Distribute Source Code

A recent federal district court decision denied a motion to dismiss a complaint brought by Artifex Software Inc. (“Artifex”) for breach of contract and copyright infringement claims against Defendant Hancom, Inc. based on...more

No Compulsory License for Internet Retransmissions of Broadcast TV

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Reversing the district court’s partial grant of summary judgment in favor of an internet streaming service, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit relied on the US Copyright Office’s interpretation of § 111 of the...more

You’ve Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

The US Supreme Court’s ruling in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands provides a path to copyrightability for pictorial or graphical elements of clothing designs and useful articles. Laura Ganoza and Julie McGinnis of Foley &...more

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