Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property

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Trademark Review | March 2015

Registration Cancelled Where Services Related to Mark Not Provided - Playdom, Inc. filed a petition to cancel Couture’s mark, arguing that the registration was void because Couture did not use the mark in commerce as of...more

Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, Inc. v. Cole - USDC, D. Oregon, March 18, 2015

District court holds defendants willfully infringed plaintiff’s copyright in animated film, finding defendants acted recklessly by manufacturing film without searching Copyright Office’s records, and by concluding that film...more

Tempest Publishing, Inc. v. Hacienda Records and Recording Studio, Inc. - USDC, S.D. Tex., March 18, 2015

Texas district court holds that independent recording studio willfully infringed copyright in plaintiff’s musical composition, finding defendant’s four-year delay in seeking post-recording license did not conform with...more

Blurred Rights

You may, like me and hundreds of others, have had the “Blurred Lines” verses: “I know you want it, You’re a good girl, You’re far from plastic, Talk about getting blasted, I hate these blurred lines,” stuck in your head. And,...more

Recent Developments in Copyright: Blurred Reasoning and I Won't Back Down Until You Stay with Me

The jury's March 10th verdict in the "Blurred Lines" case has understandably generated a significant amount of interest and attention from the public, and has also led to differing opinions from legal experts as to whether...more

Allocation of Copyright Damages for Co-Owners - In re Isbell Records, Inc.

Addressing for the first time the issue of whether a partial owner of a copyright can be awarded infringement damages for his co-owner’s share, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit determined that a partial...more

“March Madness”: Protect Your Business From The NCAA

The NCAA Tournament is here, and many local businesses will want to capitalize on this exciting time for basketball fans by using the well known “March Madness” slogan to advertise March specials. Think twice before your...more

Let’s Get Personal – Trademark Protection for Personal Names

What’s in a name? Well, a name can suggest a lot about an individual, including their ancestry and heritage. We identify ourselves by, and answer to, our given names. ...more

It’s a Complete Red Haring: Court Dismisses Wide Ranging Art-Authentication Lawsuit against Keith Haring Foundation

Art is no stranger to great controversy, although the arbiters of art world disputes are usually critics and artists rather than federal judges. Nevertheless, in early March, Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New...more

What you can learn about trademarks from sports celebrities

The world of sports seems to generate more than its share of words and phrases that catch the public’s attention. But these also show how branding — and formal trademark protection — can go awry. Every time a sports...more

…..and Don’t Even Think About Advertising a MARCH MADNESS Event Either!

It is that time of year again, coming off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, when everyone gets on the college basketball bandwagon in the season of “MARCH MADNESS.” Brackets are being completed, college jerseys are being pulled...more

California Jury Finds “Blurred Lines” Infringed “Got to Give It Up”: Society’s Mixed Signals on Copying and Intellectual Property...

On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, a California federal jury returned a verdict finding that Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams had copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up” when writing Thicke’s 2013 hit, “Blurred Lines.”...more

“Blurred Lines” but Clear Verdict: Jury Awards Gaye Estate $7.3 Million in Damages for Copyright Infringement

In a verdict on March 10, a Los Angeles federal jury decided “Blurred Lines,” written by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, substantially borrowed from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got To Give It Up” without permission. As a...more

Fear the Brow, or Fear the Trademark Specimen?

Celebrity has its advantages. Slogans and taglines are big business in professional sports, which in turn has led to some entertaining trademark applications: JOHNNY FOOTBALL and LINSANITY, to name a couple. As Martha noted...more

Jury Finds Singers, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, Owe $7.4M for Copyright Infringement

On March 10, 2015, a California federal jury awarded Marvin Gaye’s children nearly $7.4 million after deciding that pop stars, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, copied Gaye’s 1977 song, “Got to Give It Up,” in writing their...more

New Copyright Case Highlights Issues Relevant to Photographers

Photographers are often disturbed to find that they are without a meaningful remedy when their work is infringed, because they didn’t register the copyright in their photographs....more

Business Litigation Report - February 2015

- Firm News: - Main Article: ..Traversing the Breach: Why You Need to Prepare for Data Breaches and How to Do It - Noted With Interest: ..Direct Purchasers and End Payors Accuse Brand Pharma of...more

The Lines Just Got Blurrier for Musicians

I have previously discussed the Marvin Gaye and Robin Thicke/Pharrell Williams copyright dispute over the song “Blurred Lines”. Earlier this week, matters got considerably worse for the funk duo: a jury found that “Blurred...more

Court Finds Misappropriation Claims Arising From Licensing of Copyrighted Photographs Are Preempted

Judge André Birotte Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has dismissed a lawsuit brought by former college athletes alleging that the licensing of copyrighted photographs from their NCAA...more

Three Point Shot - February 2015

Will Johnny Be Good, or Will Name Games Go up in Flames? Johnny Gaudreau, left wing for the Calgary Flames, is attempting to high-stick potential interlopers by locking up rights to his now-popularized nickname – Johnny...more

The Blurred Lines of an Infringement Action

Many of you may be familiar with the pop hit “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, Clifford Harris, more popularly known as T.I., and Pharrell Williams (the “Composers”). If it does not sound familiar by title, perhaps you may...more

Foster v. Lee - USDC, S.D. New York, February 25, 2015

Plaintiff Lelanie Foster, a freelance photographer, conducted a photo shoot for JJ Eyelashes, a business that produces silk eyelash extensions and owns several salons at which those eyelashes are made available for sale and...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - March 2015 (Global)

BROADCASTING - Italy: Back to the future - connected TVs need "connected regulations" - The Italian Communications Authority recently adopted resolutions concerning changes in the broadcasting landscape....more

Twenty Years Down the Road: A Q&A With Paul Goldstein, Author of Copyright’s Highway

More than two decades have passed since internationally recognized copyright law expert and award-winning novelist Professor Paul Goldstein of Stanford Law School (and Of Counsel to Morrison & Foerster) published his landmark...more

It’s Not All Rainbows and Butterflies: YouTube’s Beauty Guru Fights Back Against Ultra Records

Michelle Phan is a YouTube celebrity and beauty guru and has garnered over 7 million subscribers and one billion lifetime views. However, not everyone is a fan of Ms. Phan. On July 16, 2014, Ultra International Music...more

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