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From Runway to Replica: Intellectual Property Strategies for Protecting Fashion Designs

Designers like Alexander Wang, Rebecca Minkoff, and Michael Kors are all gearing up to premier their 2016 fall/winter collections this month during New York Fashion Week. Fashion Week draws more than 230,000 attendees each...more

Naruto v. Slater - USDC, N.D. California, January 28, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement action brought on behalf of macaque monkey who took “selfies” using defendant photographer’s camera, holding that animals lack standing under the Copyright Act....more

Court Pulls Curtain on NLRB Ruling

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the NLRB’s finding that stagehands in the Atlanta area were employees rather than independent contractors. The Court found that the NLRB repeatedly misapplied the law and...more

Can Mike Huckabee Get an Amen! for his “Eye of the Tiger” Copyright Infringement Defense?

During his presidential campaign last September, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee made a well-publicized appearance at a rally for Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to...more

New York Jets Settle Cheerleaders’ Wage Lawsuit

Last week, a New Jersey state judge approved a $324,000 settlement between the New York Jets (the “Jets”) and 52 female cheerleaders stemming from a class action lawsuit seeking unpaid wages and reimbursement of work-related...more

Monkey Business: A Primate Can’t Claim Copyright in Selfies

Order Granting Motions to Dismiss, Naruto, et al. v. Slater, et al., Case No. 15-cv-04324-WHO (Judge William Orrick) - Are photographic “selfies” a uniquely human conceit? Parties in a Northern District copyright lawsuit...more

Bankruptcy Trumps Collective Bargaining Agreement

A federal court recently ruled that the Bankruptcy Code (the “Code”) permits an employer to escape their expired collective bargaining agreement obligations under certain circumstances. In the matter of In re Trump...more

Gilkyson v Disney Enterprises, Inc. - Calif. Appeal Court, 2nd App. District, Div. 7, January 27, 2016

Appellate court finds that claim for breach of contract for contractual royalties brought against Disney by heirs of Terry Gilkyson, songwriter for “The Jungle Book” film, are not time-barred, based on application of...more

Rapper rumble leads to legal rumble over use of tweet

If you have any remaining doubts that even tiny tweets can lead to major litigation, consider the “Ri-Ri’s Rumble” case. The case has everything: rappers, Rihanna, an eruption at a nightclub and the threat (or maybe...more

Is LeBron James a “Medium of Expression” under the Copyright Act?  We May Soon Find Out.

Many professional athletes these days—particularly those in the National Basketball Association—have their bodies bedecked with all sorts of tattoos. It’s a trend that has steadily caught fire over the last several years...more

The ITC Tries an En Banc Shot to Redefine Its Regulatory Authority

In our recent post, Living in a Nonmaterial World: Determining IP Rights for Digital Data, we discussed the potential impact of the Federal Circuit decision in ClearCorrect v. ITC, 2014-1527, in which the appeals court held...more

Katherine Craig Files VARA Claim over Illuminated Mural—“Recognized Stature” and Terms of Agreement Will be Critical

Last year we bemoaned a lost opportunity when a preliminary over a mural on the Prado Dam in California was decided under what seemed to us to be a misunderstanding of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, 17 U.S.C. § 106A...more

Katy Perry, Last Year’s Super Bowl, and a Shark with a Mark

With Super Bowl 50 quickly approaching, it’s a perfect excuse to check in on one of the IP issues that made big waves at last year’s “Big Game.” You may recall that the Super Bowl halftime show last year featured Katy Perry...more

Popular Fantasy Football Draft Companies In Lawsuit Over Patent Infringement

Anyone who knows about fantasy leagues—or watches any professional or collegiate games—has undoubtedly heard of DraftKings and FanDuel. Both companies offer a Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) gaming website that allows people to...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle II: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Around this time last year, 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 IP-ish lawsuits that I’m supposed to know about. So...more

Second Circuit Holds Google Books Is Fair Use

In a much anticipated decision, handed down in October of last year, the Second Circuit held Google Books to be a fair use of the copyrighted works Google digitized, catalogued, and offered for on-line searching. The Second...more

NCAA Settlement Could Promote Concussion Prevention and Treatment, but Leaves Member Institutions on the Hook for Future Lawsuits

On January 26, U.S. District Judge John Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted preliminary approval of a new settlement of consolidated class action litigation involving the NCAA...more

Court Enters Final Dismissal of “Monkey Selfie” Case

As anticipated, the judge presiding over the “monkey selfie” copyright case has dismissed the complaint for copyright infringement brought by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ostensibly on behalf of a...more

Balancing Copyright Owners' Rights With ISP Immunities

When an online user violates copyright law, the copyright owner will frequently turn to the user's internet service provider (ISP) for relief. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) includes a safe harbor provision that...more

Should You or Any of Your C&D Team be Caught or Killed the Client will Disavow any Knowledge

Late in December, the attorneys for Metallica sent a Cease and Desist letter to Sandman, a Metallica tribute band playing in Toronto. Sandman lead, Joe Di Taranto, posted a copy of the letter on his Facebook page. After...more

Don’t Let Your Super Bowl Promotion Get Sidelined

Every year at this time clients call who want to take advantage of Super Bowl frenzy, whether by running an online sweepstakes, offering a special deal to customers on Super Sunday, posting memes on their Facebook pages,...more

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Paint — Sue! VARA Claim Filed Against Detroit Real Estate Company

News of up-and-coming Detroit-based artist, Katherine Craig, splattered across headlines in the art world when she recently filed a lawsuit under Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA). The complaint requests injunctive relief...more

The Door Is Open To Disparaging Trademarks

Federal Circuit Rules § 2(A) of tThe Lanham Act Unconstitutional - Refusal to Register Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional - On December 22, 2015, the Federal Circuit in In re Simon Shiao Tam ruled that Section...more

Trademark Review | January 2016

Federal Circuit Holds Refusal to Register Disparaging Trademarks is Unconstitutional - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, issued a ruling that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violates the...more

Artist Sues Starbucks Claiming Copyright Infringement

New York artist Maya Hayuk was approached by an advertising agency working for Starbucks, to see if she would assist them with a proposed advertising campaign. Ms. Hayuk is known internationally for her paintings using bold...more

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