Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property

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

2017 Brings Issuance of New Design Patents for the Fashion Industry

It is well known among patent attorneys that design patents are an under-utilized form of protection in the fashion and beauty industry... ..Design patents should always be considered for timeless and iconic pieces or...more

The Designer Formerly Known As…Intellectual Property Issues Arising From Personal Names As Fashion Brands

Kate Spade, Paul Frank, Joseph Abboud, Catherine Malandrino, and Karen Millen—aside from being well-known designers, all have something else in common; they no longer own the right to use their personal names as their brands....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

Disparaging (or Maybe Not) Trademarks: The Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on In Re Tam

On January 18, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding whether the Lanham Act’s provision refusing federal trademark registration to disparaging marks is invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First...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

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

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 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

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Copyright Preemption, Software-as-a-Service and Popularity on the Internet

Copyright Decisions - Claim for Copying of Useful Article Design Preempted by Copyright Act: Ultraflo Corp. v. Pelican Tank Parts, Inc., No. 15-20084 (5th Cir. Jan. 11, 2017)...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

McGregor Files for Trademark for “Conor McGregor” and “The Notorious”

Whether you like him or not, Conor McGregor’s business savvy cannot be disputed. The UFC superstar, in just over year, has become a household name known to people who may not even watch the sport. His quick rise to...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

Live Streaming: The Privacy Concerns of Behind-the-Scenes Access

A professional football team clinches their playoff spot in an upset game, then hits the locker room for a celebration and an inspirational pep talk from their winning coach. The perfect application for livestreaming, one...more

Fictional restaurant wins trademark battle: The Krusty Krab

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? If you know the answer to that theme-song question, you’ve probably seen, or at least heard of, the popular cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants. It is one of the highest-rated and...more

Paramount and Star Trek Fan Film Producers Settle

The copyright infringement lawsuit between Star Trek fan film producer, Axanar Productions, and Paramount Pictures came to an end less than two weeks before trial. The settlement was undoubtedly triggered by the court’s...more

Song Titles and Trademarks: The Eagle(s) Have Landed

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of “classic rock,” there are some songs that everybody knows. The song Hotel California by the Eagles is one of those songs. Not everyone likes the Eagles (looking at you, Dude), but most...more

Aw, Tartar Sauce! Is the Krusty Krab Restaurant Trademark A CopyBob DittoPants?

With some cases, you just shake your head. In this case, a restaurant purveyor thought it would be okay to open a restaurant by the name of the “Krusty Krab.” For those of you who have no reason to have been watching...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

Of Klingons and Copyrights: Trekkie Fan Film Hits Fair Use Flameout

A Star-Trek fan-film is boldly headed to a jury trial to determine whether Axanar Productions—the company behind the fan-film—is liable for copyright infringement. Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios sued Axanar Productions...more

Fake News, Fake Art?  Richard Prince Disavows Work Depicting Ivanka Trump

There has been much discussion about the impact of the Presidential election on the art market, amidst much generalized anxiety about "fake news." What about "fake art?" Never one to be behind the curve, artist Richard...more

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