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Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property

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

Advertising Law - April 2017 #3

Amazon, FTC Reach Deal Over In-App Charges - Amazon and the Federal Trade Commission have agreed to drop their appeals in a lawsuit accusing the online retailer of billing consumers for unauthorized in-app charges incurred...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

Oh Yes They Did! - Ninth Circuit Holds that Use of Moderators May Impact DMCA Safe Harbor Shield

by Bryan Cave on

In Mavrix Photographs, LLC v. LiveJournal, Inc., No. 14-56596 (9th Cir. 2017) the Ninth Circuit held that the use of moderators by social media website LiveJournal created a question of fact as to whether the Digital...more

While the Slants are in the Spotlight, Chief Wahoo is on Deck

Throughout the past decade, attorneys, judges, plaintiffs, and defendants have invested thousands of hours in the fight over offensive trademarks. Most of the public is aware of the controversy surrounding the Washington...more

Supreme Court Announces Broad Separability Test in Applying Copyright Law to Useful Articles

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

This article continues the discussion in an earlier article addressing the scope of copyright protection as it applies to useful goods under copyright law. At the time the first article was written, Varsity Brands, Inc. v....more

Supreme Court Says ‘Give Me a ©’ to the Fashion Industry

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

A recent U.S. Supreme Court copyright decision analyzing cheerleader uniforms may have a profound impact on retailers, and on the fashion industry in particular. On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Star Athletica,...more

Court Finds Copyright DJ Action against Music Rights Holder Slightly Out of Tune

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Does a demand letter from a music rights holder that alleges “millions of instances of infringement” create a case in controversy with the recipient? You may be inclined to answer with an emphatic “of course!”...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

“Begun, the Clone War Has”

Hot on the “heels” of the Supreme Court’s decision in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., (2:17-cv-02523) PUMA SE has sued Forever 21 in the Central District of California for, among other things, copyright...more

Separating Art from Function: Supreme Court Creates Copyright Test for Designs

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In a landmark 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved "widespread disagreement" among lower courts and held that the artistic elements in a functional article ­– such as the cheerleading uniform at issue in this case –...more

“Charging Bull” Sculptor Articulates VARA Complaint, But “Fearless Girl” Still Standing Firm

by Sullivan & Worcester on

After a recent discussion about whether the new Fearless Girl sculpture by Kristen Visbal in Lower Manhattan might implicate the copyright of the earlier Charging Bull sculpture that has been there for nearly three decades,...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

RED GOLD for Jewelry: Obviously Generic (Or Maybe Not…)

On March 24, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the term “red gold” may not be a generic term for jewelry and watches, and thus, may serve as a trademark. Specifically, the Ninth Circuit found...more

Navigating the Lifecycle of an Eponymous Brand (Part 2)

In this three-part series, we identified at least three distinct seasons in the lifecycle of an eponymous brand: (1) Choosing the Brand, (2) Commercialization, and (3) Legacy of the Brand. In Part 1, we discussed "Choosing...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Rules on Copyright Preemption of Right-of-Publicity Claims

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Last week, in Maloney v. T3 Media, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that claims under state right-of-publicity law are preempted by the Copyright Act “when a likeness has been captured in a...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - April 2017

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Supreme Court Restricts the Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Patent Law for Exported Goods - On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court in a landmark decision held that the supply of a single component of a multicomponent...more

Cheerleader Uniform Designs Protectable Under Copyright Act

The Supreme Court recently held in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., that the designs on certain cheerleader uniforms may be protected copyrights. The 6-2 decision clarified the test to be applied when...more

No Common Law “Public Performance Right” for Broadcast of Pre-1972 Recordings

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with the New York Court of Appeals that there is no New York State common law “right of public performance” for pre-1972 recordings that is equivalent to federal copyright...more

Puma Treads New Territory Hitting Forever 21 with Copyright Allegations after the Supreme Court’s Star Athletica Decision

On March 31, 2017, Forever 21 was sued by Puma over its “Fenty” line of shoes. The “Fenty” label has become popular, in part, due to the influence of music artist, Rihanna as the label’s brand ambassador. In its complaint,...more

Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, Little Furry Plaintiff …

In Chase v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 1:15-cv-10063-NRB (March 27, 2017), Judge Buchwald of the Southern District of New York, granted Warner Bros. motion to dismiss a copyright infringement suit brought by the...more

A Game Played Proactively

Having read the recent Supreme Court decision of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands and the new unified test for copyright protectability in useful articles, we can now turn to the challenge of what actual changes will result...more

Supreme Court Establishes Test for Copyrightability of Two-Dimensional Designs Incorporated Into Useful Articles in Star Athletica...

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court established a test for determining whether a design that is incorporated into a useful article is entitled to copyright protection. In its much-awaited opinion in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v....more

Media Law Bulletin: “When I Say Design, You Say Copyright! Supreme Court Ruling in Cheerleader Uniform Case to Provide Extra...

by Sedgwick LLP on

Fashion designers around the nation are likely cheering after reading the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica LLC. That case involved whether the two-dimensional designs on...more

Star Athletica vs. Varsity Brands: Supreme Court Rules on Copyrightability of Apparel Design

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

The Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. could result in increased opportunity with respect to the applicability of copyright law as it relates to fashion and apparel,...more

Supreme Court endorses copyrightability for fashion and industrial designs

by Dentons on

On March 22, 2017, in a 6-2 decision, the US Supreme Court (the "Court") ruled in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. (Dkt. No. 15-866) that the designs on a cheerleader uniform can be protected by copyright. The...more

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