Civil Remedies Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property

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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

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

MoFo IP Newsletter - January 2016

Highlights of 2015 and What to Watch in 2016 in The United States - Commil USA, llC v. CiSCo SyStemS, inC. (Supreme Court, may 26, 2015). In May, the Supreme Court held that a good faith belief that an asserted patent...more

Stealing Bases Okay; Stealing Data Not So Much

On January 8, 2016, Christopher Correa, the former director of Baseball Development for the St. Louis Cardinals, pleaded guilty to each count of a five-count criminal information, charging him with felony violations of...more

Happy Birthday To You: Blow the Candles Out

On two previous occasions, I wrote about the court battle and decision regarding the copyright status of the lyrics to the song, Happy Birthday to You. As noted in my September 2015 post, the U.S. District Court in California...more

“Voice of America” Belongs to the U.S. Government - Robert Namer, d/b/a Voice of America v. Broadcasting Board of Governors; Voice...

Robert Namer, d/b/a Voice of America v. Broadcasting Board of Governors; Voice of AmericaAddressing the issues of laches and the reliability of a consumer survey in a defense to a trademark infringement action under the...more

Three Point Shot - December 2015

Keep Off the (Patented) Grass - Maintaining a beautiful lawn usually requires a lot of work, unless you are friends with Edward Scissorhands or install a "Brady Bunch" lawn of artificial grass instead. Installing...more

Second Circuit Holds That the Google Digital Books Project Is Protected Under the Fair Use Doctrine

On October 16, the Second Circuit ruled that Google’s scanning of millions of books without the copyright holders’ permission, for use in its “Google Books” database, is permissible under the fair use doctrine. Google Books...more

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 08

The Katten Kattwalk discusses legal issues in the fashion industry affecting the trademarks, patents and copyrights associated with companies, brands and products. Letter From the Editor - Fashion Week has come and...more

Litigation Alert: Lenz v. Universal Music Group – Baby Keeps on Dancin'

The Ninth Circuit has finally weighed in on the long-running saga of the “dancing baby” video case (the “baby” in the video is now a 9-year old), and its opinion could have long-lasting effects on fair use and how copyright...more

Aretha Franklin Is Looking For A Little Respect From Telluride And Toronto Film Festivals

On September 4, 2015, a long running legal battle over the right to use footage from a 1972 concert by Aretha Franklin took a twist right out of a Hollywood movie when the Queen of Soul sought, and was granted, a temporary...more

9th Circuit Confirms Duties for Posting DMCA Takedown Complaints

As Canada begins to settle in with the new “notice and notice” provisions under the Copyright Act (Canada) which came into force January 2, 2015, copyright owners in Canada still need to address infringing content posted on...more

Michael Jordan Testifies He Doesn’t Do Deals For Less Than $10 Million: Jury Awards Him $8.9 Million In Lawsuit Over Use Of His...

A jury awarded Michael Jordan $8.9 million this week after he testified he doesn’t do deals for less than $10 million and he would never have done a deal with the grocery store chain Dominick’s Finer Foods, LLC, as it wasn’t...more

Jordan $8.9M – Dominick’s 0: Star Wins Over Unauthorized Use of Name

For years, Michael Jordan dominated opponents on the basketball court. Now, he seems to be doing the same in legal courts. Last week, a jury ordered Chicago grocery chain Dominick’s (now owned by Safeway) to pay the former...more

Silvero v. Fox Television Studios, Inc., et al. - Los Angeles Superior Court, August 6, 2015

Frank Silvero, an actor who played the character Frankie Carbone in the film “Goodfellas” and other similar mobster characters during his career, filed suit against Fox Television alleging that the writers of the animated...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

Atlanta Rapper Rich Homie Quan Seeks Cancellation or Transfer of Trademarks and Over $2,000,000 in Damages

Think It's A Game Entertainment, LLC ("TIG"), an Atlanta-based production company, Fly Merchandise Enterprises, LLC ("Fly"), and Girvan Henry ("Henry"), have left Atlanta rapper Rich Homie Quan feeling "some type of way."...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

The Layered Look: Copyrights and Visual Arts

People are generally aware that a painting, photograph, sculpture or other works of art are subject to copyright protection but many are less aware that copyright has many layers of possible protection which can present legal...more

Jay Z Awarded Attorneys’ Fees After Routing Plaintiff In Copyright Lawsuit: Now Plaintiff Has $253,409.99 Problems For Bringing...

On July 17, 2015, Judge Schofield sitting in the Southern District of New York awarded defendants Shawn Carter (a/k/a Jay Z), Roc-A-Fella Records and Roc Nation, LLC (collectively, “Roc-A-Fella”) $253,409.99 in attorneys’...more

Redskins Trademark Decision

On July 8, 2015, a Virginia District Court ordered the cancellation of six NFL Redskins trademark registrations, under a Lanham Act prohibition against registering marks that “may disparage” a referenced class at the time of...more

What’s in a Name? District Court’s Trademark Cancellation Order Casts Further Doubt on “Redskins” Moniker

Taking big hits is quite familiar to professional football teams.  The hit laid down by a federal District Court on July 8, 2015, however, is one that Washington’s professional football franchise will remember for a long...more

16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin - USCA, Second Circuit, June 29, 2015

In matter of first impression, Second Circuit affirms ruling that director does not own copyright interest in film that he directed, because his creative contributions were inseparable from and integrated into...more

Jordan-Benel v. Universal City Studios, Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, June 24, 2015

District Court allows screenwriter’s suit alleging feature film The Purge was based on his screenplay, Settler’s Day, to proceed, denying defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion because acts supporting plaintiff’s implied contract...more

Corporate Espionage: Not Your Typical Sports-“Gate”

Generally when one refers to “competitors” in the context of protecting trade secrets, it is in regard to business competitors, not competing sports teams. And usually when the talking heads on sports radio and television...more

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