Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property

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Katy Perry Hits Roadblock in Obtaining Trademark Registration for Left Shark

Singer Katy Perry’s attempt to register the term “Left Shark”—the name of her dancing companion during the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show—with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has been delayed, while her...more

That Google Image Search Could Result in Trouble

One aspect commonly associated with building and maintaining a business is the company website. Establishing an online presence can be an important tool for connecting with customers. While website creation can be a...more

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

Pre-1972 Recording Rulings – Not as Happy Together or as a Settlement

This week, after a string of wins, two members of the classic rock group the Turtles suffered a setback in their lawsuit against satellite radio provider, SiriusXM (Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc.)....more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update

Garcia v. Google: “Doubtful” Copyright Ownership Claim in Film Performance Does Not Outweigh First Amendment Right to Free Speech - Why it matters: In a closely watched case that tests the limits of copyright protection,...more

Copyright Law: The Silent © in Same-Sex Marriage

Last week, the focus of the legal world was not on intellectual property, to put it mildly. However, copyright law did have a small and somewhat silent, but still important, role in the Supreme Court jurisprudence that led to...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

Corporate Espionage: Not Your Typical Sports-“Gate”

Generally when one refers to “competitors” in the context of protecting trade secrets, it is in regard to business competitors, not competing sports teams. And usually when the talking heads on sports radio and television...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

¿Por Que, JUANITO FÚTBOL?

In the fall of 2012, an upstart freshman quarterback at Texas A&M named Johnny Manziel earned the moniker “Johnny Football” during an incredible season, leading the Aggies to a number of huge wins. Yet after three years, a...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

Cardinals Hacking Update

St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. threw staff members under the bus following the breaking story last week that the Cardinals have been hacking into the Astros’ database for up to three years. According to DeWitt, a...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - June 2015

In This Issue: - Debruge and Childs Alabama Law Survey on Employee Privacy Laws Published to Practical Law - "WTF", Under the NLRB, Employers Should "Cut the Crap?" - Tom Brady, Deflategate, and Florida...more

The Complexities of Canada’s Extension of Copyright Protection for Sound Recordings

On June 23, 2015, Royal Assent was given to Parliament’s Bill C-59, otherwise known as the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1, otherwise known as the federal government’s 2015 budget. Contained in the legislation are...more

Rebuffing Critics, Supreme Court Re-Affirms Ban on Post-Expiration Patent Royalties

Fifty years ago, in Brulotte v. Thys Co., the U.S. Supreme Court held that the collection of royalties after a patent’s expiration constitutes per se patent misuse. Brulotte has been widely criticized as economically...more

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Patent Royalties After Patent Term Expiration in Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, No. 13-720...

On Monday, June 22, 2015, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier precedent barring royalties on a patent after the patent term expires. Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, No. 13-720 (U.S. June 22, 2015). Justice Kagan...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

Going YARD with the VARO Brand for Batters?

Time spent with my boys in Omaha at the College World Series is hard to beat. Although, last year, Father’s Day weekend was hard to beat too. And, the archives indicate five years ago was pretty wonderful as well. Basically,...more

Trump Goes A Rockin’: Neil Young Comes A Knockin’

Donald Trump, the New York real estate mogul and self-proclaimed business genius, just kicked off his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination at Trump Tower in Manhattan to the tune of Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The...more

Caught Stealing More Than Bases, St. Louis Cardinals Teach Trade Secret Safety to All Employers

The recent hacking attack against the Houston Astros is a wake-up call for all employers: no organization is safe from its adversaries’ attempts to steal proprietary information to gain a leg up in the competition. The...more

Why the Battle over Artists’ Termination Rights in Sound Recording Copyright Transfers Hasn’t Happened (and Probably Won’t)

January 1, 2013 was a date long-feared by the recording industry. It marked the 35-year anniversary of the effective date of the Copyright Act of 1976, which grants authors of works an absolute right to terminate a transfer...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

Gerritsen v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, June 12, 201

District court dismisses breach of contract and breach of guaranty claims in first amended complaint against Warner Bros. based on Oscar-winning motion picture "Gravity," holding that plaintiff Terry Gerritsen, author of...more

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