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Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property Civil Remedies

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

Visual Artists Rights Act Review

In 1990 Congress added the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) to the Copyright Law as new Section 106A. Section 106A provides: 106A Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity - (a) Rights of Attribution...more

This RMLC/GMR Fight Is No Joke

Originally published in Radio Ink - January 12, 2017. Most radio stations have received emails in the past several weeks from both the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) regarding an...more

Will a court recognize ‘aerosol artists’?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

You may think of it as “graffiti,” but a court in New York must determine if “aerosol art” is “meritorious” and of “recognized stature” such that it gets special copyright protection....more

Two Heads May Be Better Than One, But Six Heads Won’t Help You Market Your Bar

Monte Thrasher brought a VARA complaint against Marci Siegel and Co-Op 28 for painting over his “Six Heads” mural in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2017

by Fenwick & West LLP on

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This. Intellectual Property Tips for the Esports Industry - With the annual Game Developers Conference spectacular in our rearview mirror, and the NBA’s partnership with Take-Two to...more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling on Incontinence Products Spill Over into Fashion?

On March 21, 2017 the Supreme Court issued a monumental holding removing the availability of laches as a defense in a claim for damages under patent infringement. The case changes decades of legal precedent, and adopts...more

Blizzard v. Bossland: Game Over for Video Game Botting?

I’m a rules follower. Going back to the days of the Game Genie—a device that allowed gamers to play Super Mario Bros. with infinite lives or the Legend of Zelda with infinite bombs—I have always preferred the satisfaction of...more

Policing the Trademark Playground and Calling Out Bullies

The prevailing defendant in Louis Vuitton v. My Other Bag, LLC (previously blogged about in Louis Vuitton Left Holding the Bag), in a Motion filed on April 7 in the Southern District of New York (Case 1:14-cv-03419-JMF...more

Three Point Shot - April 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Premier League Takes the Pitch in Fight against Pirated Streams - The United Kingdom's most popular soccer league is using skillful legal tackling to maintain possession of its intellectual property. The Football...more

Supreme Court Corner: Q1 2017

by DLA Piper on

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands COPYRIGHT – DECIDED: MARCH 22, 2017 HELD: An artistic feature of the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or...more

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’: Trade Dress and the Distinctive Look of a Boot Sole

Airwair, the owner of the Dr. Martens brand, recently launched a series of lawsuits in the Northern District of California to enforce the trade dress of its “iconic boots and shoes.” One lawsuit was filed in October against...more

Photographer hits retailer over photo of player hitting Joey Bats

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

One of the best sports photographs in recent history captured a 2016 incident where Texas Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor hit Toronto Blue Jay José Bautista in the face. That memorable image is at the center of a new...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

Federal Court knocks TPM circumvention with significant damages award

by DLA Piper on

In a major victory for Nintendo, the Federal Court of Canada awarded $12.7 million in damages for circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs) and copyright infringement. This decision (America of America Inc. v...more

Your DMCA Safe Harbor Questions Answered

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Do you need the answer right now to one particular question about the DMCA and its (so-called) “Safe Harbors”? Here you go! But be warned: we’re painting with a broad brush, so you will have to go further – including seeking...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

by Hogan Lovells on

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

Sixth Circuit Drops the Beat: Social Media Relevant in Determining Likelihood of Confusion

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment, holding that the plaintiff provided insufficient evidence to find that relevant consumers were likely to confuse the sources of his and the...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

The Spotify Settlement With NMPA: What It Means for Music Publishers

by Garvey Schubert Barer on

In March 2016, the popular music streaming service, Spotify, reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers Association (“NMPA”) to cover billions of unlicensed streams from member publishers dating back to the...more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

Online Copyright Enforcement Gone Wrong – How To Get it Right

by Smart & Biggar on

An elderly grandmother. A first-person shooter video game. The two typically have very little in common. Yet both were recently in the headlines of the national news. The story involved an email sent pursuant to Canada’s...more

Commercial Division Rejects Employers’ Plea For Trade Secret and Trademark Protection

When employees resign, the scope of the trade secret doctrine often defines the relationship between former employers and their employees. Trade secret misappropriation claims frequently overlap with other claims arising out...more

Not Gone with the Wind: IP Rights Despite Public Domain Images

In 2006, Warner Bros. filed suit against A.V.E.L.A., X One X Productions, and ArtNostalgia.com, Inc. (collectively, “AVELA”) for copyright and trademark infringement under the Copyright Act, the Lanham Act, and state law....more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: John Madden Football, Rhett Butler and the Commerce Clause

by WilmerHale on

Copyright Opinions - Absence of Source Code for Video Games Results in JMOL of Non-Infringement: Antonick v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. 14-15298 (9th Cir. Nov. 22, 2016). Hurwitz, J. In a suit for royalties on EA's...more

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