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Do Not Mess With Michael Jordan And His Right Of Publicity

After Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2009, Sports Illustrated ran a special issue to commemorate Jordan’s achievement and celebrate his career. The issue was to be sold in...more

The Ray Charles’s Foundation Doesn’t Have to “Hit the Road Jack”: Ninth Circuit Permits Foundation to Challenge the Validity of...

On July 31, 2015, the Ninth Circuit reversed the Central District of California’s dismissal of an action brought by the Ray Charles Foundation, seeking, among other things, a judicial determination of the validity and...more

Disparaging Trademarks and the Constitutionality of Refusing Registration Under the Lanham Act

Disparaging trademarks have been the subject of vocal debate for over twenty years, but this debate has come to a head recently over the cancellation of the registration of the infamous "Redskins" trademarks belonging to the...more

Creative Use Of The California Anti-SLAPP Statute To Idea Submission Claims: Stay Tuned

The Purge is a motion picture in which a fictional U.S. government has established an annual twelve hour period called “the purge” in which all crime is legalized and no emergency services are available. And, for the last...more

Copyright Law Unavailable for Removal of Anti-Islam Video - Cindy Lee Garcia v. Google Inc. et al.

Overturning a hotly debated district court decision, in a case involving numerous amicus curiae briefs, the en banc Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary...more

Right of Publicity Claims by Athletes Nearly Shut Out in 2015

When we published our Sue-per Bowl post, 2015 looked like it would be a good year for right of publicity claims brought by athletes. On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit in Davis v. Electronic Arts held that the First...more

8th Circuit Revives Dismissed TCPA Action

On June 8, 2015, the 8th Circuit reversed the Eastern District of Missouri and revived class claims in Golan et al. v. Veritas Entertainment, LLC et al. In Golan, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants—producers of the...more

District Court Dismisses Data Breach Class Action Against GameStop, Inc.

The US District Court for the District of Minnesota recently dismissed a data breach class action against GameStop, Inc. and Sunrise Publications, Inc. (d/b/a Game Informer) for lack of constitutional standing because the...more

In re Tam – Federal Circuit Orders En Banc Review of Trademark Act’s Ban Against Registration of Disparaging Marks

The Slants is a Portland-based band composed of musicians of Asian-American descent who characterize their genre as “Chinatown Dance Rock.” The band’s bassist, Simon Tam, filed a trademark application for THE SLANTS for...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

“Desert Warrior” Vanquished: Google Defeats Cindy Lee Garcia’s Copyright Claims

Cindy Lee Garcia thought she was playing a bit part in “Desert Warrior,” an adventure film being made by an amateur film maker. The film was never completed. Instead, Ms. Garcia’s performance was re-purposed, and her physical...more

Lawyer Who Started Fight Over "R-Word" Mascot Awaits Decision

About a quarter century ago, Steve Baird — at the time, a freshly minted graduate of the University of Iowa law school clerking for a federal judge in Washington, D.C. — was spending most of his free weekends working on an...more

Ohio Supreme Court Rules City of Cleveland’s Taxation of Nonresident NFL Players’ Compensation Out-Of-Proportion to Games Played...

On April 30, 2015, out-of-state professional football players earned victories against the City of Cleveland, Ohio. In a pair of cases decided by the Ohio Supreme Court, the court first struck the City’s method of allocating...more

Full Ninth Circuit Nixes Controversial Copyright Decision

On Monday, May 18, 2015, the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, overturned a highly-controversial opinion in Garcia v. Google, Inc., in which a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed the trial court and held that an...more

Ninth Circuit Draws Fine Line Around Fine Art Resale Royalties

In a partial victory for artists such as Chuck Close and the Sam Francis Foundation—and for other visual artists who sold early works for rent money before establishing their name and value—the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Slanted Perspective?

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I refer you to “the Slants?” Is it a non-perpendicular or horizontal line? Is it the news coverage of MSNBC or Fox News? Is it a derogatory term for Asians? Or, perhaps its...more

Second Circuit to Weigh In on Copyright Owner-Digital Broadcaster Dispute Over Pre-1972 Sound Recording Performance Rights

On April 15, 2015, the Second Circuit granted digital broadcaster Sirius XM Radio, Inc.'s (Sirius XM) petition for interlocutory appeal of U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon's November 2014 ruling that New York state law...more

Penalty! The California Court of Appeal Calls Foul on the NCAA’s Attempt to Seal Records of the USC/Reggie Bush Investigation

In a significant victory for open court filings, the California Court of Appeal rejected an effort by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) to seal 400 pages of documents in a dispute between the NCAA and a...more

Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-in-Fiction Claim

In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” has successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897...more

The Dark Knight, Black Panthers, Ghosts and Ginger Rogers: Increasing Protection for Use of Trademarks in Promotions for...

Content creators of all stripes strive for realism in their depictions of the world. This is for good reason – media is more effective, and more immersive, when viewers recognize it as a reflection of the real world. Despite...more

The UNC Former Student-Athletes’ Litigation: The Defense Enters the Field

We wrote last month about the lawsuit filed against the University of North Carolina and the NCAA by former UNC student-athletes Rashanda McCants and Devon Ramsey....more

Stacy Allen Speaks: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Unpopular Celebrities And The Right Of Publicity

In retrospect, the victories won by former college football stars in their right of publicity lawsuits against Electronic Arts and its hugely popular NCAA Football videogame franchise are hardly surprising. How could anyone...more

TufAmerica v. Diamond - USDC, S.D. New York, March 24, 2015

TufAmerica v. Diamond - USDC, S.D. New York, March 24, 2015 - District court awards summary judgment to defendants, members of the Beastie Boys, holding that plaintiff did not have standing to file suit for...more

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in O’Bannon v. NCAA

On March 17, 2015, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Chief Judge Sidley R. Thomas, Circuit Judge Jay S. Bybee and Senior U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist, of the Western District of Michigan heard oral argument in...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 5: North Fork Tribe Sues State For Compact In Latest Chapter Of Gaming Saga

By the summer of 2014, it appeared that the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California had finally made it over the last hurdle to begin construction of a Class III casino with 2,000 slot machines and 40 gaming tables...more

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