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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.

Mark Madness: Avoiding Trademark Landmines in College Sports

by Patrick Law Group, LLC on

Recently, the Washington Post reported on a Maryland high school’s thwarted attempt to expand its use of a green hornet mascot logo which resembles Georgia Tech’s famous “Buzz” mascot trademark. The Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets...more

Graffiti Artists Tag Camuto Fashion House for Copyright Infringement

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Earlier this month, four Los Angeles-based graffiti artists, “Rime,” “Host18,” “Taboo” and “Reme” filed suit against the Vince Camuto fashion house and related entities alleging copyright infringement for “inexplicably...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - July 2017

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Supreme Court Hits Reset on Patent Venue Law in TC Heartland - In the recent TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC decision, the Supreme Court reversed nearly thirty years of patent venue law and held that a...more

Titleist Trademark Tarnishment?

During today’s first round of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, many a golf ball bearing the famous TITLEIST cursive script will be lofted into the heavens – meanwhile, back on the ground, the brand’s owner is...more

Meow- Copycat Fur and Bows - Forever 21 Stares Down Puma

by Knobbe Martens on

As discussed in our previous blog post Puma Treads New Territory Hitting Forever 21 with Copyright Allegations after the Supreme Court’s Star Athletica Decision, Puma sued Forever 21 for design patent infringement, trade...more

MLB to Oppose (maybe) Blizzard’s Overwatch League Logo

If you’re a video game fan like me, you’re probably familiar with Blizzard Entertainment and their assortment of popular games, such as Starcraft, Diablo, and World of Warcraft. One of Blizzard’s newest games is Overwatch, a...more

Copyright Protection for Tattoos: Are Tattoos Copies?

by Downey Brand LLP on

Abstract - This Note argues that, although “flash art” and other drawings upon which a tattoo may be based are likely copyrightable subject matter under the Copyright Act of 1976 (Copyright Act), the policy implications...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2017

SCOTUS: For Patent Venue, Domestic Corporations ‘Reside’ Where Incorporated - Why it matters: On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC—rejecting...more

Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last month, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that struck down a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act....more

Diddy’s @Infringement Instagram Post

by Weintraub Tobin on

In today’s age of rapid fire social media, posting to feed the ever growing hunger of a digitally connected audience has become second nature to celebrities and other influencers. In fact, the larger the number of followers,...more

Does This Selfie Make Me Look Like a Copyright Infringer?

by Lewitt Hackman on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider a copyright infringement suit brought by a primate – specifically, Naruto, an Indonesian crested macaque that supposedly made fantastic use of his opposable thumbs and took a...more

Three Questions from the Supreme Court’s Decision on “Offensive” Trademarks

by Dickinson Wright on

Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the Trademark Office may not refuse federal registration to a trademark merely because the mark is “disparaging.” The decision has attracted a lot of media attention, much of it...more

DMCA Grandfather Clause Does Not Extend to Acquired Business

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) grandfather clause that allows “pre-existing subscription services” to pay the pre-1998 reduced royalty rate for digital music licensing, the US Court of Appeals for the...more

Band Trademark Can Rock On: Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an 8–0 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional...more

Supreme Court Rules Trademarks are Protected by First Amendment's Free Speech Clause

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Trademarks do not constitute government speech, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled. Instead, trademarks qualify as speech protected by the First Amendment Free Speech Clause. As a result, the government cannot reject a...more

Master of Your Domain – ACPA Damages Sought by Greg LeMond

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

You might want to think twice before registering a domain name containing a competitor’s personal name or trademark. Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond put his “pedal to the metal” recently, suing two Minnesota...more

Matal v. Tam: Supreme Court Rules USPTO Prohibition of Offensive Marks Based On Disparagement Clause Is Unconstitutional Under...

Historically, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has refused to register trademarks considered to be offensive in that they disparaged a particular person, group or institution. Now the PTO cannot deny the...more

Can’t Say “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” for Copying Me

by Knobbe Martens on

On June 1, 2017, noted music and fashion photographer Danny Clinch filed suit in the Southern District of New York in connection with the use of two photographs of famed rapper Tupac Shukar (“Tupac”) on t-shirts. The...more

What’s In a Name?

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

On June 19, 2017, Justice Samuel A. Alito, delivered the unanimous opinion of the United States Supreme Court (the “Court”) in Matal v Tam, No. 15-1293, Oct. Term, 2016, argued January 18, 2017. Simply stated, the Court...more

Trademark Act Offends Free Speech

by SmithAmundsen LLC on

The Supreme Court ruled that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may not deny registration of trademarks on the basis that they are offensive or hateful. As previously discussed, in In re Simon Shiao...more

Far-reaching decision by the CJEU on copyright: The Pirate Bay can be blocked by ISPs!

by Hogan Lovells on

Swiftly following the CJEU decision in Filmspeler, in which the Court found that the selling of multimedia players with add-ons to illegal streaming websites amounted to copyright infringement, the CJEU has confirmed that an...more

Supreme Court Holds Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by Perkins Coie on

In a much anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___ (June 19, 2017) that a provision of the Lanham Act banning the registration of marks considered disparaging to “persons, institutions,...more

When Is Making A Movie Not An Act Of Free Speech?

by Weintraub Tobin on

I admit that the title of this article may be a bit deceiving. Making films, like any other production of art, is almost always an act of free speech. However, the Ninth Circuit was recently faced with a dilemma of...more

Three Point Shot - June 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

"12th Man" Suit Forces Aggies to Call an Audible on Traditional Copyright Defenses - Texas A&M University's "12th Man" is at the center of a legal blitz facing the University's Athletic Department. On January 19, 2017,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Statute Outlawing Disparaging Trademarks

by Akin Gump - Excubitor on

On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam that a statute banning registration of disparaging trademarks violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court’s invalidating the statute should...more

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