Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Art, Entertainment & Sports issues written by leading professionals.
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Medina v. Dash Films Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, July 14, 2016

District court dismisses trademark infringement action against Kanye West and others, finding that defendants’ film series title “Loisaidas” is protected by First Amendment because it has artistic relevance, title is not...more

Avatar Wins Against Another Copyright Owner… in an Unusual Manner

A recent decision from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, ended the hopes and dreams of a copyright owner from receiving a share of the $2.8 billion earned by James Cameron’s Avatar film. In this...more

The Olympics! Officially Protected from Zika by OFF!

The Summer Olympics are with us again, in what has been a great summer for sports. Besides the normal summer sports highlights, soccer fans have gotten a special second year in a row of the Copa America, not so great if...more

When Stealing in Baseball Can Land You in Jail: Computer Fraud Sentencing Announced in MLB Case

Although stealing bases, and even signs, in baseball may be part of the game, stealing another team’s trade secrets can land you in federal prison, as one executive recently learned the hard way. As we previously...more

These are Not the Trade Secrets You’re Looking For: Star Wars Model Maker Sues Ex-Employees for Misappropriation

In a tale of alleged betrayal and misappropriation of trade secrets in a courtroom (not) far, far away, a pioneering company in the area of special effects has sued its former employees and a vendor, claiming that they...more

The Pleads Of The Many: 50 Years of Star Trek Lawsuits

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the premiere of the original series of Star Trek, which first aired on NBC in September 1966. On July 22, this milestone will be marked in earnest when Paramount Pictures releases...more

Riding the Initial “Pokémon Go” Phenomenon: Branding Basics

Pokémon Go, released July 6, has unleashed a swarm of hopeful Pokémon trainers into the world, seeking to, as Pokémon famously says, “catch ‘em all.” And while Pokémon Go users are traversing cities, towns and hamlets to...more

News of Note

Each week, Sheppard Mullin brings you News of Note in IP: The latest news in the IP-related fields of technology, privacy, fashion, advertising, music, and social media, curated by our IP team. Here are some of the stories...more

What do Prince, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston Have in Common?

Michael Jackson, Prince and Whitney Houston each revolutionized the music industry and impacted popular music for decades. We all appreciate how Michael Jackson moonwalked across the stage, Prince made it (purple) rain and...more

Is Music Sampling Back En Vogue?

The mere mention of Madonna conjures many images and associations: feminism, reinvention, Kabbala, the cone bra, and her many memorable performances. But today we have yet another thing to associate with the Material Girl: an...more

Clark v. Dashner - USDC, D. New Mexico, June 30, 2016

District court dismisses author’s claims that film “The Maze Runner” and novel of same name infringed on copyright in his book The Maze, holding that similarities between works, including giant maze and robotic creatures, are...more

Brumley Heirs Win Fight over Rights to Old Gospel Song *WEB ONLY**

Addressing the termination right given to authors and their heirs under the Copyright Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that four siblings could use their right to terminate the transfer their...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - USCA, Eleventh Circuit, June 29, 2016

In most recent decision over The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings, Eleventh Circuit asks Florida Supreme Court to determine whether state law recognizes common law copyright in sound recordings and, if so, whether that...more

Second Circuit In Vimeo Narrows The Red Flag Knowledge and Willful Blindness Exceptions To DMCA Safe Harbors

The Second Circuit recently decided Capitol Records, LLC, et al. v. Vimeo, LLC (2d Cir. June 16, 2016) (“Vimeo”), a landmark decision concerning the interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the...more

Examiner.com Sails to Victory in DMCA Safe Harbor

Addressing whether the owner of a media website could invoke the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...more

Rise of the Game

Video games have been an existing and growing component of popular culture for my entire life. I literally cut my teeth on the Atari 2600 while I was still a toddler. From there I spread into bowling alley arcades,...more

Second Circuit Further Clarifies DMCA Safe Harbors in Vimeo

The Second Circuit recently decided Capitol Records, LLC, et al. v. Vimeo, LLC, (2d Cir. June 16, 2016) (Vimeo), a landmark decision concerning the interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the DMCA)....more

The Sweet Sounds Of Victory: Vimeo Llc Wins Appeal In Music Copyright Infringement Case

On June 16, 2016 Vimeo LLC heared the sweet sounds of victory as it won its appeal in a music copyright infringement case (Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC ) filed in 2009, that centered on the Digital Millennium Copyright...more

Campaign IP Violations Part 3 – Huckabee’s Campaign Pays Up

In December, we told you about Mike Huckabee’s campaign getting sued for copyright infringement for using “Eye of the Tiger” without permission at a rally supporting Kim Davis, the Tennessee clerk that refused to issue...more

No Budding in Line Washington Redskins

In a case with special significance to our DuetsBlog crew (our founder Steve Baird started the fight to cancel the THE REDSKINS trademark registrations in 1992 – see more about the Harjo case here) and significant to...more

LEAFS BY SNOOP May Be Blocked by Another Leaf Logo

Snoop Dogg’s LEAVES BY SNOOP design mark application may be in trouble. The owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs filed a request for extension of time to oppose the mark with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, citing the need...more

The Death of Prince Rogers Nelson – An Estate Tax Controversy Likely To Follow

Many of our readers have asked me about the likely controversy that will ensue following the death of Prince. In fact, two readers feel, since I have been reporting about some of the controversy surrounding the Estate of...more

EA Sports won’t be beaten at its own game – Escaping potential liability through successful § 101 motion to dismiss

It has been a long-standing business practice in the video game industry to update sports video game parameters to reflect real-world developments. Who would want to play NBA Live 95 if it didn’t incorporate Michael Jordan’s...more

Mayimba Music Inc. v. Sony/ATV Latin Music Publishing LLC - USDC, S.D. New York, June 9, 2016

District court awards defendants $400,000 in legal fees in copyright infringement suit over Shakira’s hit song “Loca,” in which plaintiff’s claims were shown to be based on fabricated evidence. In 2012, Mayimba Music...more

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