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

The Designer Formerly Known As…Intellectual Property Issues Arising From Personal Names As Fashion Brands

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Kate Spade, Paul Frank, Joseph Abboud, Catherine Malandrino, and Karen Millen—aside from being well-known designers, all have something else in common; they no longer own the right to use their personal names as their brands....more

Live Streaming: The Privacy Concerns of Behind-the-Scenes Access

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC on

A professional football team clinches their playoff spot in an upset game, then hits the locker room for a celebration and an inspirational pep talk from their winning coach. The perfect application for livestreaming, one...more

Using Pop Culture References in Advertisements? Just Do It Right

by Knobbe Martens on

In this age of smartphone cameras and hashtags, an impromptu remark or a right place-at-the-right-time snapshot can “go viral” and create instant and immense goodwill. Businesses today use social media as a tool to promote...more

Litigation Alert: The Ninth Circuit Leaves Pirate Joe’s Saying “Shiver Me Timbers!”

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Late last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined a court had jurisdiction to decide a trademark lawsuit filed by a U.S. grocery store against a Canadian reseller where the products at issue were only...more

Augmented Reality

by McDermott Will & Emery on

If you haven’t heard about newest gaming craze yet, it’s based on what is called “augmented reality” (AR) and it could potentially impinge on your home life and workplace as such games allow users to “photograph” imaginary...more

Extending the Reach of Octane Fitness Under the Lanham Act **WEB ONLY**

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit adopted and applied the Supreme Court of the United States’ rationale for an award of attorneys’ fees in patent cases to a trademark case. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit aligned...more

Celebrity Trademark Watch: Who Owns Marilyn Monroe’s Image? – Right of Publicity vs. Trademark Rights

In her posthumously published autobiography, My Story, screen legend Marilyn Monroe wrote: “I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful but because I had never belonged to...more

Michael Jordan Testifies He Doesn’t Do Deals For Less Than $10 Million: Jury Awards Him $8.9 Million In Lawsuit Over Use Of His...

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

A jury awarded Michael Jordan $8.9 million this week after he testified he doesn’t do deals for less than $10 million and he would never have done a deal with the grocery store chain Dominick’s Finer Foods, LLC, as it wasn’t...more

Jordan $8.9M – Dominick’s 0: Star Wins Over Unauthorized Use of Name

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

For years, Michael Jordan dominated opponents on the basketball court. Now, he seems to be doing the same in legal courts. Last week, a jury ordered Chicago grocery chain Dominick’s (now owned by Safeway) to pay the former...more

Hidden Risks? What Liability Can Private Colleges and Universities Have for Their Student Newspapers and Publications?

by Saul Ewing LLP on

It is well-settled that public institutions are generally not liable for statements made by their student publications because the First Amendment prohibits them from exercising control over such publications. See, e.g.,...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

Three Point Shot - May 2015

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

"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

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

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

Rights in Bob Marley's name and likeness trump free speech where defence not properly pleaded | World Trademark Review

by Knobbe Martens on

Fifty-Six Hope Road is a company run by some of Bob Marley's children, and it owns the property rights to Bob Marley's name, voice and likeness. Hope Road licensed Zion Rootswear the exclusive right to use Marley's name and...more

The Bermuda Triangle of Online Defamation: Copyright, Clickwrap and the CDA

We have written many times about attempts to use copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. Because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) prevents a defamation plaintiff...more

Texas eMediaLaw Legislative Update: 2015

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

It’s Spring in Texas which means one of two things – the bluebonnets are out and in odd years, our legislature is back at work. One makes me grateful to be in Texas and the other only meets every other year. Here are a few...more

Two Rights of Publicity Decisions Explore the Boundaries of Commercial Speech in Commemorating Public Figures

by Reed Smith on

Two recent rights of publicity cases illustrated the parameters of using a public figure’s name, likeness, identity or image for commercial purposes, without consent for commemorative purposes. But when does commemoration...more

Trademark Review | March 2015

by Knobbe Martens on

Registration Cancelled Where Services Related to Mark Not Provided - Playdom, Inc. filed a petition to cancel Couture’s mark, arguing that the registration was void because Couture did not use the mark in commerce as of...more

Bob Marley and Federal False Endorsement Claims

by Weintraub Tobin on

Since his death in 1981, reggae superstar Bob Marley and his “image” continue to be broadly popular and command millions of dollars each year in merchandising revenue. ...more

Liability for Commercial Speech: A Guide to False Advertising, Commercial Disparagement, and Related Claims

by Foley Hoag LLP on

This volume summarizes related bodies of law – false advertising, commercial disparagement, and defamation – that govern the conduct of business communications. It sets forth elements, damages, and related defenses for each...more

Three Point Shot - February 2015

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Will Johnny Be Good, or Will Name Games Go up in Flames? Johnny Gaudreau, left wing for the Calgary Flames, is attempting to high-stick potential interlopers by locking up rights to his now-popularized nickname – Johnny...more

Advertising Law - March 2015

NAD: A Product Can’t be The “#1 Prescribed Brand” Without Other Prescribed Brands - A “#1 brand prescribed” claim implies that professionals have a choice in prescribing brands, the National Advertising Division...more

UK: Passing Off – How Rihanna “found love” in the Court of Appeal

by DLA Piper on

On 22 January 2014 the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court decision in a claim for passing off brought by global superstar Rihanna against Topshop. The dispute centered on a t-shirt which was sold by Topshop in its...more

USA: Ninth Circuit Rejects EA’s “Incidental Use” Defense in Madden-Related Right of Publicity Suit

by DLA Piper on

On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit decided that Electronic Arts Inc.’s (“EA”) unauthorized use of former NFL players’ likeness as avatars in the Madden NFL video game series does not qualify for First Amendment protection....more

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