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Katy Perry Hits Roadblock in Obtaining Trademark Registration for Left Shark

Singer Katy Perry’s attempt to register the term “Left Shark”—the name of her dancing companion during the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show—with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has been delayed, while her...more

That Google Image Search Could Result in Trouble

One aspect commonly associated with building and maintaining a business is the company website. Establishing an online presence can be an important tool for connecting with customers. While website creation can be a...more

Pre-1972 Recording Rulings – Not as Happy Together or as a Settlement

This week, after a string of wins, two members of the classic rock group the Turtles suffered a setback in their lawsuit against satellite radio provider, SiriusXM (Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc.)....more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update

Garcia v. Google: “Doubtful” Copyright Ownership Claim in Film Performance Does Not Outweigh First Amendment Right to Free Speech - Why it matters: In a closely watched case that tests the limits of copyright protection,...more

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

The Complexities of Canada’s Extension of Copyright Protection for Sound Recordings

On June 23, 2015, Royal Assent was given to Parliament’s Bill C-59, otherwise known as the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1, otherwise known as the federal government’s 2015 budget. Contained in the legislation are...more

Rebuffing Critics, Supreme Court Re-Affirms Ban on Post-Expiration Patent Royalties

Fifty years ago, in Brulotte v. Thys Co., the U.S. Supreme Court held that the collection of royalties after a patent’s expiration constitutes per se patent misuse. Brulotte has been widely criticized as economically...more

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Patent Royalties After Patent Term Expiration in Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, No. 13-720...

On Monday, June 22, 2015, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier precedent barring royalties on a patent after the patent term expires. Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, No. 13-720 (U.S. June 22, 2015). Justice Kagan...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

Trump Goes A Rockin’: Neil Young Comes A Knockin’

Donald Trump, the New York real estate mogul and self-proclaimed business genius, just kicked off his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination at Trump Tower in Manhattan to the tune of Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The...more

Counts v. Meriwether - USDC, C.D. California, June 12, 2015

District court dismisses breach of contract and conversion claims in lawsuit brought by two screenwriters who alleged defendants used script to create television series "New Girl," holding breach of contract claim was...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

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - June 2015

ADVERTISING - UK: Tweaks to rules on sales promotions and competitions - The UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has introduced changes to the provisions of its advertising code which deal with the running of...more

Preemption of State-Law Tort Claims by the Copyright Act - Ray v. ESPN

Addressing the issue of the preemption of state-law claims by the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld the district court’s dismissal of several state-law tort claims because the claims are...more

Broadcast Music, Inc. v. Pandora Media, Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, May 28, 2015

After five-week bench trial, district court holds BMI's proposed license fee of 2.5 percent of Pandora's gross revenue was reasonable, using Pandora's 2013 direct licenses with Sony/ATV and Universal Music Publishing as...more

Ultramercial v. WildTangent -- Petition for Writ of Certiorari

The Ultramercial story is not over. In the latest step of a controversial case involving 35 U.S.C. § 101 that has been ongoing since 2009, patentee Ultramercial has petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. The...more

Three Point Shot - May 2015

"Wild Thing" Forced to Tap Out in Battle against ESPN - Last month, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals forced former professional wrestler Steve "Wild Thing" Ray to tap out in his battle against ESPN by dismissing 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

Instagram for Sale: Artist Richard Prince’s New Portraits Sparks Controversy

In the past week, several news outlets and social media channels have been buzzing about artist Richard Prince’s exhibit New Portraits, which first debuted at the Gagosian Gallery on September 19, 2014 and was reborn with...more

Meet Batman’s New (Trademark) Nemesis: Rihanna

After making (and remaking (and re-remaking)) movies, sequels, and prequels for nearly every comic book character in its library, it appears that DC Comics has finally found a new foe for its Batman franchise: music and...more

Trivial Thoughts on Substantial Parts

What constitutes a “substantial part” of a copyrighted work is an endlessly diverting question – both because copyright law tends not to draw “bright lines” (meaning that lawyers are forever doomed to conducting...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

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