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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.

Bringing Back the Oldies – Legislation for Equal Treatment in the Music Industry

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

On July 19, 2017, the CLASSICS Act (H.R. 3301 – Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act) was introduced into the House, the purpose of which is to provide copyright...more

When is July 4 this year? When is North Carolina’s FIRST TUESDAY Lottery? and Descriptiveness

In In re North Carolina Lottery, [2016-2558] (August 10, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the refusal of registration of FIRST TUESDAY in connection with lottery services and games on the first Tuesday of each month....more

Joust Do It? A New Form of Nike Battle Cry?

By now, you’re familiar with my enjoyment in capturing and sharing new billboard signage that hits the streets of the Twin Cities. Question, what tagline might have inspired this one?...more

Three Point Shot - August 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Eastern District Heavyweight Bout Ends in Stunning Trademark Technical Knockout - Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor's late-August 2017 matchup may be the most highly anticipated boxing event in decades. But while "The...more

Court Rejects Infringement Claim Against Alan Jackson

by Brooks Pierce on

On October 27, 2016, North Carolina songwriter Timothy Arnett sued the legendary country star Alan Jackson in the Eastern District of North Carolina for alleged copyright infringement. Arnett claimed that Jackson’s song...more

Catching Counterfeits: Customs Recordation and IP Enforcement

by Knobbe Martens on

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), the primary federal agency responsible for securing America’s borders, is also charged with the protection of intellectual property rights and guarding against the infringement of...more

will.i.am: registered.u.r.not

In In re I.AM.SYMBOLIC, LLC, [2016-1507, 2016-1508, 2016-1509] (August 8, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the TTAB affirming the Trademark Examiner’s refusal of registration of the mark I AM on grounds of...more

Update: Court finds transformative nature of alleged infringing work can’t be decided by side-by-side comparison

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Adding an Instagram border and a few “gobbledygook” notations to an original photograph is not transformative as a matter of law. In an update to our post on a case filed last year, a federal court in New York recently denied...more

Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition Action

by Dickinson Wright on

On behalf of the nationally well-known professional boxing promoter, New Jersey Sports Productions, d/b/a Main Events, Samuel Littlepage (Member, Washington, D.C.) and Melissa Alcantara (Member, Washington, D.C.) have filed a...more

Registrations for Golden Knights Still Refused…Partially

Another update on my series of posts following the newest NHL expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and the difficult time they’re having prosecuting their trademark applications. The applicant Black Knight Sports and...more

The Grinch that stole fair use?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Since the Supreme Court’s 1994 Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music landmark decision, courts have expanded fair use protection. While not a license to take liberally from another work, the fair use test has often tilted in favor of...more

3:16 as a Trademark?

Over the weekend, IPBiz reported that WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) has filed an application to register 3:16 as a trademark for clothing items. A Google search confirms that 3:16 has religious significance as it is...more

A Recipe For Sanctions: “No reasonable copyright attorney … would have filed this complaint.”

If you are going to file a copyright infringement complaint based on a cookbook, beware. Copyrights in cookbooks are considered “thinner” than copyrights in many other types of literary works. There are several reasons for...more

China launches its annual piracy crackdown campaign: focus on online piracy of films and TV programs

by Hogan Lovells on

China’s State Intellectual Property Office has recently announced, in a joint declaration with three other ministerial bodies, the launch of its annual online piracy crackdown campaign called the “Red Shield Net Sword...more

Settling the Hawkwind Trademark Flap

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing an opposition to the trademark registration of a band name, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) found the opposer—the originator and continuous user of the name—to be the owner and prior user. Dave Brock v....more

Ninth Circuit Purges Anti-SLAPP Motion for Contract Claims

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an action involving the popular film series The Purge, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court denial of the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion, holding that the plaintiff’s breach of...more

Sports Bras and Tires - What Do They Have In Common?

Sports bras and tires don’t seem to have much in common, but both embody visual designs fashioned to appeal to consumers and both have a particular form of intellectual property— design patents—tailored to protect their...more

University of Miami’s “Sebastian the Ibis” Mark Is Neither a Mutilated, Nor a Phantom Mark

On June 6, 2017, the TTAB issued a precedential opinion addressing trademark mutilation and phantom marks. The University of Miami sought federal trademark registration for its mascot “Sebastian the Ibis,” describing the...more

Fictional, but Protectable: Court Finds Planned Real-World “The Krusty Krab” Restaurant Would Violate Viacom’s Trademark Rights

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Summary Judgment Order, Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments, LLC, S.D. Tex. (January 11, 2017) (Judge Gray Miller) - The Emmy nominations have been announced, and the fall television season is just weeks...more

EU institutions vote for more books for blind and visually impaired people

by Hogan Lovells on

Four years after signing the Marrakesh Treaty (introduced by the WIPO) to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled, the EU institutions finally voted for...more

Who Owns that Trademark? An Incomplete Answer Voids Application

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision sustained an opposition based on the applicant’s failure to identify a co-owner at the time the application was filed, resulting in the application being declared void ab...more

Celebrity Endorsement Provokes Patent Infringement Claim

Snap Light LLC recently filed suit against Kim Kardashian’s company Kimsaprincess, Inc., as well as her collaborator Urban Outfitters, Inc., for patent infringement. As improbable as that sounds, knowing that the patent in...more

Distillations: The Slants Case, Distilled

by Fish & Richardson on

Oceans of ink and zillions of electrons have been spilled commenting on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Matal v. Tam, in which the Court held that the Trademark Act’s prohibition on registration of “disparaging” marks...more

Protecting Online Games in China

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

With the exponential growth of online gaming (particularly mobile gaming) in China, more and more western content providers are entering the Chinese gaming market and seeking to protect their businesses in China’s courts...more

Music Licensing Basics: How to Legally Use Someone’s Music in Your Business

by Knobbe Martens on

Introduction - •Music copyrights: –Musical works – sheet music and lyrics •Author is generally composer/lyricist and controls •Can be administered through a music publisher - Please see full Presentation below...more

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