Civil Remedies Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property

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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

Sirius Wins One in Florida, Florida, Florida!

On June 22, 2015, the Southern District of Florida held that artists have no public performance rights in their pre-1972 sound recordings under Florida law, in contrast to decisions from California and New York in related...more

“Desert Warrior” Vanquished: Google Defeats Cindy Lee Garcia’s Copyright Claims

Cindy Lee Garcia thought she was playing a bit part in “Desert Warrior,” an adventure film being made by an amateur film maker. The film was never completed. Instead, Ms. Garcia’s performance was re-purposed, and her physical...more

Spain: National Court suspends the strike of La Liga

The Spanish National Court has ruled in favour of the Spanish Football League (LFP), and suspended the proposed strike called by the Spanish Football Players’ Union for the final two rounds of the Spanish top-tier football...more

Performance Rights, Digital Music Services and The Turtles

Intro - In 2013, Flo & Eddie of the 1960s rock band The Turtles filed separate lawsuits in California, Florida and New York, aiming to use state laws to obtain royalties from digital music service providers like...more

Status Updates - April 2015 #5

Photo negative. Daniel Morel, the photojournalist who was awarded $1.2 million in damages from news agencies that distributed his iconic Haiti earthquake pictures without his permission after he posted those pictures on...more

Even In The UK, Think Twice Before Using Celebrity Endorsements

A recent legal case in the UK between singer Rhianna and fashion retailer Topshop has highlighted differences between publicity rights in the UK and some US jurisdictions. Rhianna sued Topshop for its sale of a t-shirt...more

Jury Sees a Clear Line – Pharrell, Thicke Crossed It

Pharrell Williams, famous for singing about how “Happy” he is, might be changing his tune these days. On March 10, a federal jury found him and fellow pop star Robin Thicke liable for copying Marvin Gaye’s popular song “Got...more

Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, Inc. v. Cole - USDC, D. Oregon, March 18, 2015

District court holds defendants willfully infringed plaintiff’s copyright in animated film, finding defendants acted recklessly by manufacturing film without searching Copyright Office’s records, and by concluding that film...more

Tempest Publishing, Inc. v. Hacienda Records and Recording Studio, Inc. - USDC, S.D. Tex., March 18, 2015

Texas district court holds that independent recording studio willfully infringed copyright in plaintiff’s musical composition, finding defendant’s four-year delay in seeking post-recording license did not conform with...more

Allocation of Copyright Damages for Co-Owners - In re Isbell Records, Inc.

Addressing for the first time the issue of whether a partial owner of a copyright can be awarded infringement damages for his co-owner’s share, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit determined that a partial...more

California Jury Finds “Blurred Lines” Infringed “Got to Give It Up”: Society’s Mixed Signals on Copying and Intellectual Property...

On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, a California federal jury returned a verdict finding that Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams had copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up” when writing Thicke’s 2013 hit, “Blurred Lines.”...more

“Blurred Lines” but Clear Verdict: Jury Awards Gaye Estate $7.3 Million in Damages for Copyright Infringement

In a verdict on March 10, a Los Angeles federal jury decided “Blurred Lines,” written by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, substantially borrowed from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got To Give It Up” without permission. As a...more

Jury Finds Singers, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, Owe $7.4M for Copyright Infringement

On March 10, 2015, a California federal jury awarded Marvin Gaye’s children nearly $7.4 million after deciding that pop stars, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, copied Gaye’s 1977 song, “Got to Give It Up,” in writing their...more

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