Communications & Media Intellectual Property Constitutional Law

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Stacy Allen Speaks: Video Game Makers Strike Out In College Athlete Cases – Coaching Tips For The Virtual World

Over the past several years, I have written about a series of decisions in suits brought by former collegiate athletes against EA Sports and the NCAA, seeking compensation for the use of their likenesses and those of...more

Washington Redskins Challenge the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act

The Washington Redskins trademark controversy is far from over. Despite the fact that certain news and sports commentators and mainstream newspapers and organizations have announced that they will no longer use the term...more

Duke, Hershey, and Winston: Who gets to trademark a famous name?

Common sense tells you that you can always use your own name. But under trademark law, that’s not always true. Three recent cases illustrate this conundrum, which plays a major role in many Internet marketing and domain name...more

Copyright As An Online Reputation Management Tool: A Round Hole For A Square Peg

So, how is copyright law doing as an online reputation management tool? We have written many times recently about the use of copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. A...more

IKEA översittare: Bully or Baloney?

I once spent 20 minutes trying to figure out whether I was installing a metal insert for an NYMÖ lamp upside down, or rightside up. I’m still not sure I ever installed it correctly, but it’s still working. So there. But a new...more

“National Association For The Abortion of Colored People” Trademark Case Heads To Fourth Circuit

We previously reported on the dispute between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the conservative activist Ryan Bomberger. Bomberger had repeatedly referred to the NAACP in online...more

Hershey Is Not So Sweet on Maryland Senator’s HERSHEY Campaign Logo

When you think of The Hershey Company, you think of delicious chocolate candy bars, chocolate kisses, and a fabulous amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company’s brown candy bar wrappers with the HERSHEY’S trademark...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2014

Right of Publicity? First, Let Me Take a Selfie - “Oh, he wants to do a selfie,” President Barack Obama observed with amusement before gamely posing with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz snapped the...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Individual Performance in Film May Be Copyrightable

Recently in Garcia v. Google, 743 F.3d 1258 (9th Cir. 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an actress’ request to remove a provocative film from YouTube, because the film, in which she appeared for five seconds,...more

You’ve Been Served… A Lawsuit via Facebook?!?!

Imagine you are a trademark owner, and you’ve discovered there is someone out there using your trademark – or something very close to it. You take steps to persuade the infringer to stop using your mark. First, you reach...more

California Federal Court Finds that the First Amendment Does Not Preclude Sporting Event Participants from Asserting...

On April 11, 2014, a California federal court issued a First Amendment ruling that has potentially significant implications for broadcasters in the sports-media industry. Specifically, the Northern District of California’s...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Standing Requirements in False Advertising Lawsuits

On March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified who has the right to assert a federal claim for false advertising. In a unanimous ruling, the Court established that one company can sue another under the Lanham Act, the federal...more

Digital Content Producers (Still) Lack Antitrust Standing to Sue Wireless Carriers Over MMS

In a prior post, I covered the district court’s decision in Davis v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. There, the Central District of California dismissed antitrust claims against various wireless telephone companies and other...more

Tarantino’s “Hateful” Revenge: Director Pursues Copyright Claim Over Hyperlink To Leaked Script

Quentin Tarantino probably wasn’t offended when the Hollywood gossip website Defamer, owned by Gawker Media LLC, compared him to a petulant child and accused him of throwing a “temper tantrum.” After all, the colorful...more

California Federal Court Finds that the First Amendment Does Not Preclude Sporting Event Participants from Asserting...

On April 11, 2014, a California federal court issued a First Amendment ruling that has potentially significant implications for broadcasters in the sports-media industry. Specifically, the Northern District of California’s...more

Risks Of Tribute Advertisements Are Focus Of Seventh Circuit Decision

Think the First Amendment protects your business from liability for running an ad congratulating a celebrity or other public figure? Better think again. ...more

Right of Publicity? First, Let Me Take a Selfie

“Oh, he wants to do a selfie,” President Barack Obama observed with amusement before gamely posing with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz snapped the shot using his Samsung smartphone during a visit to the...more

Pick Your Passion: State’s Trademark May Be Used To Criticize Its Governor

In Dardenne v. MoveOn.org, the Middle Louisiana Federal District Court faced a conflict between trademark protection, on the one hand, and the First Amendment’s protection of political advocacy, on the other. The Court...more

A Uniform Approach to Standing for False Advertising Claims under the Lanham Act

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court, in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., 572 U.S. ___ (2014), resolved a circuit split regarding the test for standing to assert a claim for false advertising...more

Applause Can Come with a Big Price Tag - Michael Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc.

Paying tribute to celebrity can sometimes be an expensive proposition. A Chicago grocery store chain found this out the hard way when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit handed down its decision in Michael...more

Supreme Court Inks Uniform Standing Test for Lanham Act False Advertising Claims

Key Takeaways - - The US Supreme Court created a uniform test for standing for false advertising claims under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, resolving a three-way circuit split. - The new standing test...more

Can Private Photos Be Used In Political Ads Without Permission? Colorado Court Rejects Gay Couple’s Misappropriation Claim;...

When we upload family pictures to the internet, we understand that, in theory, anyone in the world might download them and use them for some nefarious purpose. However, we usually take comfort in the fact that most of us...more

SCOTUS Clears District Court Jam Over Test for Standing in False Advertising Cases

Printing has not been this interesting since Dwight Schrute and Jim Halpert bickered over paper sales and Michael Scott told off-color jokes in “The Office.” Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court stepped into the laser...more

Highlights of Digital Millennium Copyright Act Congressional Hearings

On March 13, 2014, the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, through its Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, held hearings regarding the copyright infringement notice...more

Non-Direct Competitors May Sue Under the Lanham Act, Doctrine of Prudential Standing Eliminated

The Supreme Court of the United States swept away the different standards for Lanham Act prudential standing previously applied by the courts of appeals, and expressly discarded the amorphous concept of prudential standing in...more

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