Communications & Media Civil Procedure Art, Entertainment & Sports

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Trademark Review | June 2015

Is PRETZEL CRISPS a Generic Term? Federal Circuit Resets Standard for Genericness - In an earlier precedential decision, the TTAB held there was a dichotomy in the standard for determining whether an applied-for mark...more

Richard Prince Once Again Pushes The Limits Of Fair Use

Richard Prince is either on the very edge of fair use or is engaging in blatant copyright infringement. Unlike most however, Prince has been down this road before; accused of infringement and a defense based entirely on fair...more

8th Circuit Revives Dismissed TCPA Action

On June 8, 2015, the 8th Circuit reversed the Eastern District of Missouri and revived class claims in Golan et al. v. Veritas Entertainment, LLC et al. In Golan, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants—producers of the...more

Court Declines To Certify Damages Class in Baseball Blackout Suit

On May 14, 2015, the Southern District of New York issued two opinions in Laumann v. Nat’l Hockey League, No. 12-cv-1817, excluding plaintiffs’ damages expert under Daubert and denying plaintiffs’ motion to certify a damages...more

Michael Jordan Defends His Right to Remain in Court to Protect His Likeness

On March 19, 2015, Wilson Elser published “Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer,” an Alert concerning a case in which Michael Jordan was denied summary judgment on his...more

Who’s on First? Depends if Fair Use is on Second and Public Domain is on Third

Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” brings back memories of my seventh-grade talent show where I performed the routine with Brandon Berry at Atascocita Middle School. I can’t remember if we won second or third place —...more

Another Round with Pacquiao?

It was inevitable. Following his “Fight of Century” with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 2, 2015, Manny Pacquiao has been named in a class action suit filed in Nashville for allegedly defrauding pay-per-view customers. The...more

Richard Prince’s Instagram Art: Do You Know Where Your Face Is?

Social media, it seems, has turned us all into photographers. Anyone with a Facebook page, an Instagram account or any of the other methods for socializing on the web, can post original photos for all the world to see,...more

Ninth Circuit En Banc Reverses Injunction Against YouTube Display of “Innocence of Muslims”

In Garcia v. Google, No. 12-57302 (9th Cir. May 18, 2015), the en banc Ninth Circuit reversed a prior panel decision and held that an actress was not entitled to a preliminary injunction removing all copies of a film from...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Ninth Circuit Reverses Takedown of Controversial Trailer from YouTube

After an en banc review, the Ninth Circuit reversed a preliminary injunction against YouTube requiring the takedown of the controversial trailer of the film “Innocence of Muslims.” The preliminary injunction was granted by a...more

Garcia v. Google: Ninth Circuit En Banc Denies Actor’s Copyright Claim In Her Performance

This blog previously discussed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in Garcia v. Google, Inc., (9th Cir. 2014) 766 F.3d 929, reversing a decision of the district court. On Monday, the Ninth Circuit, en banc, in Garcia...more

I Didn’t Say That – The Ability of Actors to Control Their Performances Under Canadian Copyright Law

When the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its 2014 opinion in Garcia v Google, its tentative conclusion that actors might enjoy copyright protection in their on-screen performances was met with vociferous...more

Full Ninth Circuit Nixes Controversial Copyright Decision

On Monday, May 18, 2015, the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, overturned a highly-controversial opinion in Garcia v. Google, Inc., in which a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed the trial court and held that an...more

Rolling With the Punches: The Fight Over Livestreaming

Boxing fans eagerly awaited the May 2, 2015, championship match between boxers Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. But the fight also drew the interest of those following online video apps Meerkat and Periscope....more

Live Streaming Apps Raise New/Old Copyright Concerns

Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Meerkat are two new “live streaming” apps which allow users to live stream videos from their phones. These applications could potentially change the way live sporting or music events are...more

Second Circuit Affirms Victory for Pandora On Music Streaming Rights

On May 6, 2015, in Pandora Media, Inc. v. American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the Second Circuit held that composers and music publishers cannot partially withdraw from the American Society of Composers,...more

When Does an Email Form a Legally-Binding Agreement? Ask the Canucks.

A recent decision from the British Columbia Court of Appeal provides an important reminder when communicating by email regarding the negotiation of the terms of an agreement: Just because you haven’t signed a contract,...more

Digital Music Provider Grooveshark Dismantled in Major Victory for Music Recording Industry

On April 30, 2015, digital music provider Grooveshark—owned by Escape Media Group, Inc. ("Escape")—agreed to permanently shut down its controversial music streaming website following several years of litigation with major...more

Katy Perry Faces Choppy Waters: Left Shark Trademark Refused!

Katy Perry runs into trademark trouble in her attempt to register a “Left shark” design mark. Here’s what happened and what you can do to avoid a similar fate. To the merriment of Left Shark fans everywhere, Katy Perry...more

UK: Use of image taken from social media breaches UK media privacy rules

The UK Independent Press Standards Organisation has upheld a complaint against a newspaper after it published an image taken from social media without consent picturing a man who had been arrested for murder with a woman...more

Wilson v. The Walt Disney Company - USDC, N.D. California, April 16, 2015

In copyright infringement action concerning trailer for Disney’s blockbuster film Frozen court denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment, finding that plaintiff established genuine factual dispute as to Disney’s...more

Advertising Law - April 2015 #2

Red Light! Cab Companies Claim Uber Falsely Claims to Be Safer Service: What’s safer—riding in a cab or riding in an Uber car? - A new false advertising lawsuit raised that question when a coalition of 19...more

Penalty! The California Court of Appeal Calls Foul on the NCAA’s Attempt to Seal Records of the USC/Reggie Bush Investigation

In a significant victory for open court filings, the California Court of Appeal rejected an effort by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) to seal 400 pages of documents in a dispute between the NCAA and a...more

Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-in-Fiction Claim

In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” has successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897...more

The Dark Knight, Black Panthers, Ghosts and Ginger Rogers: Increasing Protection for Use of Trademarks in Promotions for...

Content creators of all stripes strive for realism in their depictions of the world. This is for good reason – media is more effective, and more immersive, when viewers recognize it as a reflection of the real world. Despite...more

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