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Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.

Navigating the Lifecycle of an Eponymous Brand (Part 2)

In this three-part series, we identified at least three distinct seasons in the lifecycle of an eponymous brand: (1) Choosing the Brand, (2) Commercialization, and (3) Legacy of the Brand. In Part 1, we discussed "Choosing...more

Star Athletica vs. Varsity Brands: Supreme Court Rules on Copyrightability of Apparel Design

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

The Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. could result in increased opportunity with respect to the applicability of copyright law as it relates to fashion and apparel,...more

Supreme Court endorses copyrightability for fashion and industrial designs

by Dentons on

On March 22, 2017, in a 6-2 decision, the US Supreme Court (the "Court") ruled in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. (Dkt. No. 15-866) that the designs on a cheerleader uniform can be protected by copyright. The...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

Intellectual Property and Technology News (North America), Issue 33, Q1 2017

by DLA Piper on

A new year is upon us, bringing swift and deliberate change, uncertainty and myriad paradigm shifts in the political and social landscape. It is fitting, then, that intellectual property practice should reflect these shifts...more

Parrotheads Can Rejoice As Jimmy Buffett Prevails In Trademark Dispute

Jimmy Buffett won a trademark dispute and precluded the applications for “Marijuanaville” marks from registering due to a likelihood of confusion with his famous MARGARITAVILLE® mark for clothing (including shirts and caps),...more

Hip, Hip, Hooray for Copyrightable Decorative Elements

After months of standing on the sidelines of the most closely watched case impacting the fashion industry in recent years, legal practitioners and fashion designers now have a framework for protecting decorative elements of...more

United States Supreme Court Confirms Works of Art Incorporated Into Useful Articles Are Protected Under Copyright Law

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

Copyright law has long provided protection for original works of art. There has been some uncertainty as to whether this protection is extended to artistic features that are incorporated into useful articles, which are not...more

Three Stripes and You’re Out: adidas Seeks to Protect its Mark

by Butler Snow LLP on

On March 17, 2017, athletic apparel giant, adidas, filed suit against Juicy Couture, Inc. asserting trademark infringement and unfair competition claims. The case is styled adidas America Inc. et al. v. Juicy Couture Inc.,...more

Remember – “March Madness” is a Trademark

We are in March. The minds of many turn to March Madness as the NCAA hosts its annual tournament to crown college basketball’s national champion. Of these, many want to take advantage of the tournament to promote their...more

The Supreme Court’s Fashionable Case: Implications for Expanding Copyright Protection to Apparel

by Snell & Wilmer on

Currently before the United States Supreme Court is the question: “[w]hat is the appropriate test to determine when a feature of the design of a useful article is protectable under § 101 of the Copyright Act.”1 Put another...more

UPDATE: BOSTON’S Founder and a Former Bandmate Still Seek Peace of Mind

We have written previously about Scholz v. Goudreau, No. 13-CV-10951 (D. Mass.); the case recently went to trial on the parties’ surviving claims, and they are now immersed in post-trial briefing....more

Commercial Division Rejects Employers’ Plea For Trade Secret and Trademark Protection

When employees resign, the scope of the trade secret doctrine often defines the relationship between former employers and their employees. Trade secret misappropriation claims frequently overlap with other claims arising out...more

Copyright Protection For Mass-Produced Articles In The United Kingdom

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Prior to a recent change in the law, copyright protection in an artistic work expired after 25 years if articles embodying the work had been applied industrially (defined as making more than fifty articles). This kept the...more

Termination of Distribution Agreement Does Not Affect Licenses to Cloud-Based Access

by McDermott Will & Emery on

After finding that a copyright infringement question analyzed by the district court was more properly a contract interpretation issue, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that...more

Food Fight: America’s Test Kitchen v. Chris Kimball

If, like me, you’re a fan of PBS and its soothing, soft-focus, food-related shows (ahem, Great British Bake-off), you were probably devastated when you heard that longtime host Chris Kimball, was leaving America’s Test...more

You Just Used My Picture Without Permission?

by LeClairRyan on

Artist Richard Prince’s exhibit entitled “New Portraits’’ was displayed at New York City’s Gagosian Gallery and Frieze New York during the summer of 2015. This exhibit featured screenshots of other people’s Instagram photos....more

Three Point Shot - November 2016

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Who's First in Ownership of the "Sweet Spot" Remains Unclear - Baseball is often called a "game of inches," whether one is describing the strike zone, a close play at the plate, or a liner past third base that just kicks...more

Business Litigation Report - October 2016

Structuring Foreign Investment to Ensure Treaty Protection - Although it is common practice for businesses to structure their investments abroad through jurisdictions that maximize tax and other advantages—such as the...more

Court Holds That Fashion Designer Karen Millen Cannot Use Her Name in Connection with Future Clothing Lines

A recent UK court held that Karen Millen, a fashion designer and co-founder of the Karen Millen brand, was prohibited from using her name, KM or K.Millen or any other confusingly similar names in connection with clothing and...more

Protect Your Intellectual Property or Else

by Varnum LLP on

With an increasingly competitive marketplace challenging traditional business models, protecting intellectual property in the automotive industry has never been more vital. Among a business's most valuable assets are the four...more

DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”

Greenberg Glusker music law partner William I. Hochberg was quoted in an August 4, 2016, Daily Journal article, “DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”...more

Producers Beware: What happens when your movie distributor files bankruptcy?

The Issue - There has been written a plethora of articles about Bankruptcy Code §365(n) regarding the rights of parties to license agreements when the licensor files a bankruptcy and rejects a license agreement....more

The Water in Rio Isn’t the Only Thing to Worry About – So Are Olympic Hashtags

by Butler Snow LLP on

Social media is buzzing with Olympic hashtags, particularly #Rio2016 and #TeamUSA. But the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is cracking down on hashtag use by companies without Olympic sponsorship deals, calling it “ambush...more

The implications of Brexit on the entertainment and media industry

by Reed Smith on

While the United Kingdom will not leave the European Union overnight, it is important to consider what the result of the Brexit referendum means to the entertainment and media industry. What are the challenges? How do we...more

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