Civil Procedure Art, Entertainment & Sports

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Express Waiver of Assumption of Risk – Gross Negligence Exception

Stacey Chavez, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (July 8, 2015) - California’s public policy in favor of sporting and leisure activities provides strong support for...more

"Ready? Okay!": Clothing Design Copyright Affirmed by Sixth Circuit Despite Dissent Stating Industry is "a Mess"

Recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ("Sixth Circuit") in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC, decided that clothing designs (in this case, a cheerleading uniform) can be protected by copyright under the...more

Plaintiffs Fold on Their Full Tilt Poker Actions Following Court’s Rejection of Class Certification and Proposed Settlement

The plaintiffs in three actions against entities and individuals involved in the Full Tilt Poker Internet gambling operation dismissed their claims without prejudice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New...more

Trademark Review | August 2015

The Redskins Lose Again (Off the Field)- A federal District Court affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) ruling that “Redskins” cannot be registered as a trademark for use in connection with a...more

Do Not Mess With Michael Jordan And His Right Of Publicity

After Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2009, Sports Illustrated ran a special issue to commemorate Jordan’s achievement and celebrate his career. The issue was to be sold in...more

Death v. Suicide in Event Cancellation Policies

While many Event Cancellation/Non-appearance policies offer effective coverage for financial losses and additional costs when the insured performer dies from natural causes or an accident, they reach their limits if the...more

Supreme Court Corner – Q3 2015

In Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, the Supreme Court upheld a long-standing precedent that restricts the ability of a patent holder to charge a royalty beyond the term of a patent. In a 6-3 decision, the Court declined to...more

Strip Club Beats TCPA Case With Human Intervention

The Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club in Las Vegas sends promotional text messages to its customers. Doing so involved multiple steps. First, a Club employee inputs telephone numbers into a mobile marketing website. He does this by...more

“BRING IT ON!”: Sixth Circuit OKs Copyright Claims for Cheerleader Uniform’s Design

On August 19, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y” for the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of cheerleader uniforms in its copyright infringement lawsuit against another cheerleading gear...more

Shame on You Productions, Inc. v. Banks - USDC, C.D. California, August 14, 2015

Plaintiff Shame on You Productions, Inc., was assigned a screenplay titled “Darci’s Walk of Shame” by its author, Dan Rosen. Shame on You sued defendants, including actress Elizabeth Banks, for copyright infringement and...more

Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Win Appeal Defeating Northwestern Football Players' Attempt to Form Union

The National Labor Relations Board announced on August 17, 2015 that it would not assert jurisdiction over Northwestern University’s scholarship football student-athletes in their bid to be recognized as “employees” and form...more

ROYAL PAIN: Brits Can’t Even Copy Their OWN Music

This blawg focuses on US law as it pertains to technology and entertainment, but a recent decision of the High Court of the United Kingdom just caught my interest. The High Court of the United Kingdom held that certain...more

NLRB Punts on College Athlete Unions

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued the long awaited decision in the Northwestern University football union case. 362 NLRB No. 167 (8/17/2015). In a rare display of unanimity, the five members of...more

NFL Deflategate Suit: Paving The Way For Forum Shopping in Federal Court

When a plaintiff decides to bring a lawsuit, one of the most crucial decisions he has to make is which judicial forum the case should be brought in. Many people only distinguish between state and federal courts. However,...more

The Ray Charles’s Foundation Doesn’t Have to “Hit the Road Jack”: Ninth Circuit Permits Foundation to Challenge the Validity of...

On July 31, 2015, the Ninth Circuit reversed the Central District of California’s dismissal of an action brought by the Ray Charles Foundation, seeking, among other things, a judicial determination of the validity and...more

New Old Music Group, Inc. v. Gottwald - USDC, S.D. New York, August 7, 2015

New Old Music Group sued Lukasz Gottwald (Dr. Luke) and others for copyright infringement of the song “Zimba Ku,” written by New Old’s president Lenny Lee Goldsmith and recorded by the band Black Heat in 1975. At issue was...more

Kimble v. Marvel Changes How Patent Licenses Should Be Drafted and Also Diligenced in Transactions

In 1990, Stephen Kimble obtained a patent for a toy that allowed children and adults to shoot “webs” from the palms of their hands. Kimble met with the president of Marvel Enterprises, Marvel Entertainment’s predecessor, to...more

Play for Pay? Not Today, Says the Ninth Circuit in the Latest NCAA Ruling

Whether the amateurism rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violate federal antitrust laws remains an active issue before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But the dramatic changes ordered by U.S....more

Caveat Opposer: Preclusion Lurks at the TTAB

Recently, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “TTAB”) held that an unsuccessful opposer was precluded from later pursuing a cancellation against the same trademark owner, even though the opposer assumed a different...more

No Copyright in Individual Contributions to a Film - 16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin

Citing the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit’s recent en banc decision in Garcia v. Google (IP Update, Vol. 18, No. 6), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling that...more

Could the Bieb Be a Copyright Infringer? - Copeland et al. v. Bieber et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated a district court decision dismissing a copyright infringement claim in a case involving a copyrighted song and a later recording by Justin Bieber concluding that that...more

Ray Charles Foundation v. Robinson - USCA, Ninth Circuit, July 31, 2015

Ninth Circuit reverses lower court’s dismissal for lack of standing of action brought by Ray Charles Foundation, finding that Foundation, sole beneficiary of music legend’s estate, had standing to challenge validity of...more

Justice Delayed or Justice Denied?

Many college sports aficionados are likely aware of the long-raging debate about whether college athletes in high revenue sports, like football and basketball, ought to be paid for their services. After all, college sports...more

REDSKINS affirmed as disparaging. Appealed to 4th Circuit.

In its June 18, 2014 Blackhorse decision, the TTAB ordered six Redskins trademarks to be cancelled as disparaging to Native Americans at the time they were registered....more

Disparaging Trademarks and the Constitutionality of Refusing Registration Under the Lanham Act

Disparaging trademarks have been the subject of vocal debate for over twenty years, but this debate has come to a head recently over the cancellation of the registration of the infamous "Redskins" trademarks belonging to the...more

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