Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property Civil Procedure

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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

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

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

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

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

Let the Games Begin

Many of you interested in the video game and media industry have undoubtedly heard that Oculus recently lost a jury trial to Zenimax which resulted in a $500 million jury verdict. However, what many (or at least some) of you...more

The Yellow Pages Live On

Calling the district court’s action an “abuse of discretion,” the 11th Circuit reversed a decision that cut by more than 90 percent a successful copyright infringement plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. Yellow...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle III: The Year In NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Two years ago, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those intellectual property lawsuits that sports fans assume IP...more

Paul McCartney Sues Sony/ATV to Reclaim Copyrights to Beatles Songs

Sir Paul McCartney has filed suit against Sony/ATV Music Publishing in New York Federal Court, seeking a declaration that he can exercise his termination rights under the Copyright Act of 1976 in order to reclaim the rights...more

Boldly Going Where no Fanfic has Gone Before

Fanfiction refers to the art of creating fiction using another author’s characters or universe. I was first introduced to the concept in high school, when a friend began writing Harry Potter fanfiction. (Side note: this is...more

Does Louis Vuitton Lack A Sense Of Humor? The Parody Defense Is No Laughing Matter For Brand Owners

On December 22, 2016, the Second Circuit gave tote bag manufacturer My Other Bag an early Christmas present by tossing out luxury giant Louis Vuitton’s claims of trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and trademark...more

Charles Dickens And Copyright Law: Five Things You Should Know

One hundred and seventy five years ago, on January 22, 1842, Charles Dickens first set foot in America, specifically in Boston, after a twenty day steamship voyage from Liverpool. Dickens, only a few days shy of his thirtieth...more

Canadian IP law and practice in 2016: reviewing the highlights

As the calendar turns the page from 2016 to 2017, we take the opportunity to review Canadian IP law and practice highlights from the past year....more

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on January 18, 2017 in “The Slants” Case.

As we reported to you last September, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case involving the constitutionality of the provisions of the Lanham Act upon which the U.S. Trademark Office relied to deny registration of the...more

It’s a Game Winning Shot but Far from a Slam Dunk: Michael Jordan Obtains Partial Victory in Chinese Courts over Use of His Name

In December 2016, China’s Supreme Court held that a Chinese manufacturer named Qiaodan Sports Company, could not continue to produce athletic shoes, clothing and gear bearing the trademark (see article), which is the Chinese...more

Failure to Introduce Source Code of Original Work Fatal to Claim Against Alleged Derivative Work

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed an order dismissing a breach of contract action, finding that the plaintiff failed as a matter of law to establish copyright infringement under the copyright law—upon...more

Surrender Dorothy: Court Upholds Damages, Injunction for Movie Content Infringement

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment and permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from licensing images from movies owned by the plaintiff. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., et al....more

UPDATE: BOSTON’S Founder and a Former Bandmate Still Seek Peace of Mind

We have written previously about Scholz v. Goudreau, No. 13-CV-10951 (D. Mass.); the case recently went to trial on the parties’ surviving claims, and they are now immersed in post-trial briefing....more

NY Common Law Does Not Provide Creators With Control Over Public Performances of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) issued a landmark state copyright law decision, holding in response to a certified question from the Second Circuit in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius...more

New York Court of Appeals Says No Common Law Public Performance Right For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, held that no common law public performance right exists for pre-1972 sound recordings. The issue of whether a common law public performance...more

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