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Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

#ShowMeTheMoney: Sofia Vergara’s Settlement of Social Media False Endorsement Lawsuit Highlights Modern Legal Issue

Last month, Sofia Vergara, star of ABC’s Modern Family, reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the actress against beauty company Venus Concept for alleged improper use of her likeness on television and in social media,...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

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

Your DMCA Safe Harbor Questions Answered

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Do you need the answer right now to one particular question about the DMCA and its (so-called) “Safe Harbors”? Here you go! But be warned: we’re painting with a broad brush, so you will have to go further – including seeking...more

Sixth Circuit Drops the Beat: Social Media Relevant in Determining Likelihood of Confusion

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment, holding that the plaintiff provided insufficient evidence to find that relevant consumers were likely to confuse the sources of his and the...more

The Yellow Pages Live On

Calling the district court’s action an “abuse of discretion,” the 11th Circuit reversed a decision that cut by more than 90 percent a successful copyright infringement plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. Yellow...more

Personal and Corporate Reputation: Five Lessons from 2016

On November 19, 2014, Sabrina Erdely’s Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” went viral. The article depicted the violent gang rape of a University of Virginia student...more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

Online Copyright Enforcement Gone Wrong – How To Get it Right

by Smart & Biggar on

An elderly grandmother. A first-person shooter video game. The two typically have very little in common. Yet both were recently in the headlines of the national news. The story involved an email sent pursuant to Canada’s...more

Not Gone with the Wind: IP Rights Despite Public Domain Images

by Knobbe Martens on

In 2006, Warner Bros. filed suit against A.V.E.L.A., X One X Productions, and ArtNostalgia.com, Inc. (collectively, “AVELA”) for copyright and trademark infringement under the Copyright Act, the Lanham Act, and state law....more

NBA Team Sued By Fans Over Mobile Application

by Reed Smith on

Earlier this week, a putative class action was brought against the NBA’s Golden State Warriors concerning the team’s mobile application. According to the complaint, the free app provides an interactive experience for fans by...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Summer 2016

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Supreme Court Expands Discretion to Award Enhanced Damages for Patent Infringement and Eliminates the Federal Circuit’s ‘Seagate Test’ - In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court...more

“Gossip Cop” Held To Willfully Infringe Copyrighted Photos

In BWP Media USA v. Gossip Cop Media, a case sure to bring cheer to paparazzi and tabloid publishers everywhere, a judge in the Southern District of New York has found after a bench trial that a gossip website willfully...more

Political campaigns face copyright and robocall liabilities

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Though it seems to come as a surprise to many of them, politicians — even presidential candidates — have to live with the same intellectual property and communications laws that bedevil the rest of us....more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

by WilmerHale on

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Sibling Rivalry, Grilled Meat and Attorneys' Fees

by WilmerHale on

Copyright Opinions - Sixth Circuit Upholds Siblings' Termination of Brother's Copyright Assignment: Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-5429 (6th Cir. May 16, 2016) - Sutton, J. In a declaratory...more

Sorry Beliebers, But Justin Bieber Has Been Sued For Copyright Infringement.

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Justin Bieber is headed to the land of the Grand Ole Opry. Not for concertizing, but for plagiarizing. Allegedly. On May 26, 2016, “the Biebs” was sued in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee for...more

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