Conflict of Laws Intellectual Property

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Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report — May 2016

Littler's Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report details key labor, employment, and benefits news and events at the federal, state, local, and global levels. The May edition of the Insider Report discusses recent agency...more

The Right of Publicity: How Much Control Do NFL Players Have Over Their Names?

How much control should athletes have over their names? Not an unlimited amount, according to one recent court ruling. Late last month, in Dryer v. National Football League, the Eighth Circuit denied an appeal by three...more

Central District of California Holds That the California Resale Royalty Act Is Preempted by Federal Copyright Law

As previously discussed on this blog, the validity of the California Resale Royalty Act (the “RRA,” Civil Code Section 986), a 1976 law that requires resellers of fine art to pay a royalty of 5 percent to the artists behind...more

California Resale Royalty Act Claims Dismissed as Preempted by Copyright Law, Despite 1980 Ninth Circuit Holding to the Contrary

Just three months after the Supreme Court denied certiorari review of last year’s Ninth Circuit decision finding California’s Resale Royalty Act unconstitutional under the Dormant Commerce Clause in part—but also valid in...more

The USPTO Says “Yes” But the TTB Says “No” To LSD

Government approval of commercial speech has been a hot topic of discussion by trademark nerds here and elsewhere in light of recent decisions regarding the Redskins and The Slants marks. As those decisions proceed up...more

NFL Players’ Right of Publicity Claims Denied - J. F. Dryer et al. v. The National Football League

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a district court summary judgment in favor of defendants, denying plaintiffs’ publicity rights claims in footage and interviews made by the defendants and finding that...more

POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca Cola Co.: legal battle nearly over, but industry litigation landscape forever changed…

On March 18, 2016, Pom Wonderful LLC made closing arguments in its trial against Coca-Cola for the alleged misleading marketing of a pomegranate-blueberry juice which contained only trace amounts of either pomegranate or...more

Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. v. TD - Ameritrade Services Co. Inc. USDC, C.D. California, March 14, 2016

District court holds Lions Gate's trademark-related claims under Lanham Act and related state law are preempted by Copyright Act in suit over financial services ad campaign that used modified version of famous line "Nobody...more

Intellectual Property and Technology: Players’ Hail Mary Pass Incomplete: Copyright Trumps Right of Publicity in NFL Dispute...

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit stopped three former NFL players at the goal line when it rejected the players’ appeal in their likeness lawsuit against the NFL. The three former players,...more

Former NFL Players’ Right of Publicity Claims Get Sidelined—Will We Hear From The Replay Officials?   

In Dryer v. The National Football League, three former gridiron gladiators who played in the NFL had their claims for right of publicity under state law tossed out by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. These three players...more

Eighth Circuit Tells Former NFL Players: Your Right Of Publicity Claims Are Preempted By The Copyright Act

The Eighth Circuit recently rejected three former NFL players’ appeal of a district court’s dismissal of their right of publicity claims, among other claims. John Frederick Dryer, Elvin Lamont Bethea, and Edward Alvin White...more

8th Circuit Finds Copyright Act Preempts State Right Of Publicity Of Professional Athletes

In a recent case, Dryer v. Nat’l Football League, No. 14-3428, 2016 WL 761178 (8th Cir. Feb. 26, 2016), former National Football League (“NFL”) players (the “Players”) sued the NFL over the use of their name, image, voice,...more

Dryer v. The National Football League (USCA, Eighth Circuit, February 26, 2016 )

In action involving films produced by NFL containing historical game footage, Eighth Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of NFL, holding that former players’ right of publicity claims are pre-empted by Copyright Act,...more

Patentable Subject Matter after Alice: Best Practices for Responding to 35 U.S.C. § 101 Rejections

It has been over 20 months since the Supreme Court handed down the landmark decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, effectively limiting the scope of patent-eligible subject matter. In particular, software and business...more

Litigation Alert: 8th Circuit Clarifies Reach of Copyright Act in Preempting Right of Publicity Claims

8th Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of NFL on former NFL players’ right of publicity claim, finding the claim to be preempted by the Copyright Act. Courts around the country have long struggled to define and...more

Upcoming Federal Circuit Decision Presents Opportunity for Clarification of Patentable Subject Matter

Since Alice, consistently defining the bounds of statutory subject matter in computer arts confounds even the most experienced attorneys. E-commerce software combining visual elements of multiple parties’ websites is patent...more

Virtual Learning: The Scope of Preemption Under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Companies seeking protection under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”) should consider the effects of CUTSA preemption on their litigation strategy. Under the well-known Silvaco Data System v. Intel Corporation...more

Texas Supreme Court Considers Whether Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act Can Keep Corporate Representatives From the Courtroom

In December 2014, Schlumberger subsidiary M-I LLC (d/b/a M-I SWACO) filed a writ of mandamus with the Texas Supreme Court over a trade secrets case decided in Harris County District Court. In its writ, M-I SWACO alleged that...more

Top 10 Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Developments

There were several noteworthy developments in 2015 in the area of trade secrets and unfair competition. This post focuses on developments affecting California employers. Due to the unsettled nature of some of the law, this...more

New Year, New Progress: The Defend Trade Secrets Act Reports Out From the Senate Judiciary Committee

As previously reported on TSW, the road to federal right of action for trade secrets misappropriation has been a long one. In the absence of a federal trade secrets law, the Economic Espionage Act (“EEA”) and various state...more

New Georgia Statute on Bad Faith Patent Cases May Discourage Both Weak and Strong Cases from Being Brought in Georgia

Plaintiff Walter Farmer (“Farmer”) initiated suit in September 2014 asserting infringement of claim 1 of his U.S. Patent No. 7,362,007 (the “’007 Patent”), issued April 22, 2008, and covering uninterruptable power supply...more

Patent Is Invalid Under Alice

The patent-in-suit is directed to redeeming discount offers by associating a machine-readable code with identifying items to be offered at a discount. Defendant asserts that the technology is patent ineligible under Alice....more

Star Power Arrives in Marijuana Branding

Willie Nelson has “Willie’s Reserve“. Snoop Dogg has “Leafs By Snoop“. And rumor has it that Bob Marley’s heir’s will have their own brand out soon. As more states legalize medical and even recreational marijuana, brands and...more

Reality Check: Fantasy Sports Sites Facing Serious New Challenges

Fantasy sports, especially Daily fantasy sports (“DFS”), are big business in the United States. Two DFS sites in particular, FanDuel and DraftKings, are the most dominant players in this industry (they control 95% of the DFS...more

Brandmarking - Volume 4, Number 3 - October 2015

Eight Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Creating and Protecting Brand Identity - First in a series. Every entrepreneur knows the importance of establishing a strong brand for a new business or product...more

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