Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Remedies

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News & Analysis as of

McRo decision gives software/computer-based patents a big boost

On September 13, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held as patent-eligible patent claims directed to automated lip-synching for animated characters. This holding builds upon the few decisions thus far...more

Big Settlement, Big Issues: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Isn’t Over.

$20,000,000.00. That, as they say in the legal parlance, is a crooked number with a LOT of zeros behind it. And that is also the reported amount of settlement between Gretchen Carlson and Fox News over her sexual...more

NBA Team Sued By Fans Over Mobile Application

Earlier this week, a putative class action was brought against the NBA’s Golden State Warriors concerning the team’s mobile application. According to the complaint, the free app provides an interactive experience for fans by...more

Friedman v. Live Nation Merchandise, Inc. - USCA Ninth Circuit, August 18, 2016

Ninth Circuit revives photographers claims of willful copyright infringement against Live Nation Merchandise over Run DMC photograph it used without permission, concluding lower court incorrectly dismissed willful copyright...more

All That Glitters is Not Gold For Led Zeppelin’s Claim For Attorneys’ Fees

Legendary rockers Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are probably still flying high over their defense verdict earlier this summer in the “Stairway to Heaven” copyright infringement trial. They may be slightly coming down, though,...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Summer 2016

Supreme Court Expands Discretion to Award Enhanced Damages for Patent Infringement and Eliminates the Federal Circuit’s ‘Seagate Test’ - In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court...more

Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin - USDC, C.D. California, August 8, 2016

District court rejects music publisher’s request for nearly $800,000 in attorney’s fees and costs as prevailing party in copyright dispute over Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven,” concluding lawsuit alleging infringement...more

DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”

Greenberg Glusker music law partner William I. Hochberg was quoted in an August 4, 2016, Daily Journal article, “DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”...more

Northern District of California “Shuts Out” Minor League Ballplayers’ Experts

Minor league baseball players took a swing at class certification, and they missed—badly. In Senne v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp., et al., minor league baseball players across the country asserted wage and hour...more

I Swear It’s Not Mine – Artist Sued for Denying He Created Art Piece

Artist Peter Doig, whose pieces regularly sell for $10 million, is currently entangled in a rare and rather odd lawsuit, which involves a work Doig denies he created. While disputes of the authenticity of pieces of artwork...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - August 2016

Supreme Court Abolished Federal Circuit's Test for Willfulness - On June 13, 2016, in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., 579 U.S. ___ (2016), the Supreme Court unanimously abrogated the Federal Circuit’s...more

Pokémon Go Faces More Criticism

Pokémon Go is a location-based augmented reality game in which players use their mobile device to catch Pokémon in the players’ real-world surroundings by utilizing the camera, GPS, and gyroscope features of the mobile...more

Producers Beware: What happens when your movie distributor files bankruptcy?

The Issue - There has been written a plethora of articles about Bankruptcy Code §365(n) regarding the rights of parties to license agreements when the licensor files a bankruptcy and rejects a license agreement....more

Court’s Reconsideration Gives “Lift” to Dirty Dancing Trademark Dilution Claim

It’s been almost 30 years since we were introduced to bad boy dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and sweet daddy’s girl Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey). This star-crossed duo shimmied their way to...more

“Gossip Cop” Held To Willfully Infringe Copyrighted Photos

In BWP Media USA v. Gossip Cop Media, a case sure to bring cheer to paparazzi and tabloid publishers everywhere, a judge in the Southern District of New York has found after a bench trial that a gossip website willfully...more

Hit by the Pitch: Federal Judge De-Certifies FLSA Class Action of Minor League Baseball Players

In a 100+ page opinion, federal Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of the Northern District of California refused to grant the Plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class of minor league baseball players and instead granted the baseball...more

Political campaigns face copyright and robocall liabilities

Though it seems to come as a surprise to many of them, politicians — even presidential candidates — have to live with the same intellectual property and communications laws that bedevil the rest of us....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

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

Another Bombshell in Munich—Bavarian Government Sold Looted Art to Nazi Families

Works returned by Monuments Men to Bavaria for restitution to victims instead sold to Nazis’ families - Journalists Catrin Lorch Jörg Häntzschel published this weekend an explosive revelation in Sueddeutsche Zeitung...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

Jury Hands Zeppelin a Heavenly Victory

In Robert Plant’s world, all that glitters is not gold, and all that sounds like another artist’s work is not stolen from that artist. Fortunately for Plant and his Led Zeppelin bandmates, a Los Angeles jury agreed. That jury...more

Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Discretionary Fee-Shifting in Copyright Cases

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified how courts should exercise their discretion to award attorneys' fees to the prevailing party in copyright cases. The Court unanimously held that courts should give...more

Broadcasters obtain injunction in bid to stem “emerging trend” of pre-loaded set-top boxes

The Federal Court of Canada recently granted three large broadcasters an order for an injunction* against retailers of pre-loaded “plug-and-play” set-top boxes.  The apps pre-loaded on the boxes allow consumers to access TV...more

NFL tries to pull a fast one on funding for head-trauma research

What’s $30 million among friends? When the National Football League offered in 2012 to provide that sum to support concussion research by the National Institutes of Health, the conventional wisdom held that the sports...more

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