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Civil Remedies Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports

Read Civil Remedies updates, alerts, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Meow- Copycat Fur and Bows - Forever 21 Stares Down Puma

by Knobbe Martens on

As discussed in our previous blog post Puma Treads New Territory Hitting Forever 21 with Copyright Allegations after the Supreme Court’s Star Athletica Decision, Puma sued Forever 21 for design patent infringement, trade...more

Can’t Say “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” for Copying Me

by Knobbe Martens on

On June 1, 2017, noted music and fashion photographer Danny Clinch filed suit in the Southern District of New York in connection with the use of two photographs of famed rapper Tupac Shukar (“Tupac”) on t-shirts. The...more

The Slants, The Redskins, and Free Speech for All Parties

This week’s Matal v. Tam (formerly Lee v. Tam) Supreme Court ruling serves as a reminder that free speech is a two-way street. It also suggests the value of a sympathetic litigant, at least in terms of public response....more

Update: Ban on Registering “Disparaging” Trademarks Unconstitutional

by Genova Burns LLC on

In a unanimous opinion based on differing rationale, the Supreme Court held that the federal prohibition on registering “disparaging” trademarks is unconstitutional. (Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293)....more

Supreme Court strikes down Lanham Act's disparagement clause as unconstitutional

by Dentons on

In a landmark decision that will significantly impact those seeking to block or cancel trademarks they consider offensive, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the "disparagement clause" of the federal trademark...more

Matal v. Tam: Trademark Disparagement Clause Held Unconstitutional

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held in an 8–0 decision that the disparagement clause in the Trademark statute—which prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contemp[t] or disrepute”...more

Matal v. Tam: The Supreme Court Says You Can Register &%$£!*®

On June 19, 2017, the US Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam unanimously affirmed a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which precludes “disparaging” trademark...more

Two layers of photo ownership in conflict in street photography case

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

“I own the photos.” It seems like a simple statement, but in copyright law, ownership isn’t simple. One person can own physical photographs, but not have the right to use them, because someone else owns the copyrights....more

The Top Hits: Fashion Cases with a Big Impact

by Knobbe Martens on

Over the last year, there have been some significant trademark and copyright cases in the fashion industry. Below are summaries of recent cases all brand owners should know and understand. These cases touch on important...more

Resistance is Futile: Axanar Productions settles with CBS and Paramount to end copyright infringement suit over fan film

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Axanar will finally beam down to YouTube after CBS and Paramount Pictures (“Paramount”) reached a settlement with Axanar Productions to end all ongoing litigation regarding the Star Trek fan film....more

Fair use blocks out copyright claim over LeBron’s tattoo

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Courtside questions: Is it fair or foul to show a player’s tattoo in a video game? LeBron James is a talented individual: three-time NBA Champion; 13-time NBA All-Star. And he gave a more than respectable performance playing...more

Visual Artists Rights Act Review

In 1990 Congress added the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) to the Copyright Law as new Section 106A. Section 106A provides: 106A Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity - (a) Rights of Attribution...more

This RMLC/GMR Fight Is No Joke

Originally published in Radio Ink - January 12, 2017. Most radio stations have received emails in the past several weeks from both the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) regarding an...more

Will a court recognize ‘aerosol artists’?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

You may think of it as “graffiti,” but a court in New York must determine if “aerosol art” is “meritorious” and of “recognized stature” such that it gets special copyright protection....more

Two Heads May Be Better Than One, But Six Heads Won’t Help You Market Your Bar

Monte Thrasher brought a VARA complaint against Marci Siegel and Co-Op 28 for painting over his “Six Heads” mural in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2017

by Fenwick & West LLP on

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This. Intellectual Property Tips for the Esports Industry - With the annual Game Developers Conference spectacular in our rearview mirror, and the NBA’s partnership with Take-Two to...more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling on Incontinence Products Spill Over into Fashion?

by Knobbe Martens on

On March 21, 2017 the Supreme Court issued a monumental holding removing the availability of laches as a defense in a claim for damages under patent infringement. The case changes decades of legal precedent, and adopts...more

Blizzard v. Bossland: Game Over for Video Game Botting?

I’m a rules follower. Going back to the days of the Game Genie—a device that allowed gamers to play Super Mario Bros. with infinite lives or the Legend of Zelda with infinite bombs—I have always preferred the satisfaction of...more

Policing the Trademark Playground and Calling Out Bullies

The prevailing defendant in Louis Vuitton v. My Other Bag, LLC (previously blogged about in Louis Vuitton Left Holding the Bag), in a Motion filed on April 7 in the Southern District of New York (Case 1:14-cv-03419-JMF...more

Three Point Shot - April 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Premier League Takes the Pitch in Fight against Pirated Streams - The United Kingdom's most popular soccer league is using skillful legal tackling to maintain possession of its intellectual property. The Football...more

Supreme Court Corner: Q1 2017

by DLA Piper on

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands COPYRIGHT – DECIDED: MARCH 22, 2017 HELD: An artistic feature of the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or...more

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’: Trade Dress and the Distinctive Look of a Boot Sole

by Knobbe Martens on

Airwair, the owner of the Dr. Martens brand, recently launched a series of lawsuits in the Northern District of California to enforce the trade dress of its “iconic boots and shoes.” One lawsuit was filed in October against...more

Photographer hits retailer over photo of player hitting Joey Bats

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

One of the best sports photographs in recent history captured a 2016 incident where Texas Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor hit Toronto Blue Jay José Bautista in the face. That memorable image is at the center of a new...more

Defendant Wipes Out After Getting Caught in the Riptide and Is Sanctioned for Ill-Conceived Motion to Compel in Surf Tech...

This case presents an example of a district court’s use of the “proportionality” requirement of Rule 26 to limit overbroad discovery. On March 9, 2017, Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major of the District Court for the Southern...more

Federal Court knocks TPM circumvention with significant damages award

by DLA Piper on

In a major victory for Nintendo, the Federal Court of Canada awarded $12.7 million in damages for circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs) and copyright infringement. This decision (America of America Inc. v...more

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