Constitutional Law Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure

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Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer

In 2009, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. To commemorate Jordan’s career, Time Inc. published a special Sports Illustrated Presents issue that included congratulatory “advertisements” from several...more

Cole Schotz Successfully Defends Against Motion to Dismiss New Jersey State Lottery Claims

The Presiding Judge of the New Jersey Tax Court held in our favor last week, ruling that our clients can proceed with their claims against the State of New Jersey, Division of Lottery challenging the retroactive taxation of...more

Celebrity SLAPP’d in Los Angeles: Lawsuit arising from American Idol Negotiations Reinstated

California has an anti-SLAPP law that protects defendants from lawsuits brought to chill their First Amendment rights. When the anti-SLAPP law applies, a defendant can obtain a fast dismissal at the early stage of the...more

No 'Hiding the Ball' - Court Prohibits NCAA from Sealing Trial Record

In McNair v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (filed 2/16/2015, No. B245475), the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, held that the NCAA may not limit public access to certain documents...more

San Jose Strikes Out in Baseball Antitrust Challenge

In City of San Jose v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Case No. 14-15139 (9th Cir. Jan 15, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit applied the judge-made antitrust exemption for baseball to bar...more

Rhoads v. Margolis - Cal. App. 2d, January 26, 2015

In lawsuit brought by family of guitarist Randy Rhoads against writer and publisher of his biography, California appellate court affirms lower court denial of anti-SLAPP motion as it relates to family's breach of contract...more

Trademark use within an expressive work must only pass the Rogers test, not a likelihood of confusion analysis: Mil-Spec Monkey v....

The likelihood of confusion test is often called the “cornerstone” of trademark infringement law. It may be in many circumstances, but it does not apply to allegations of infringement within expressive works, as the recent...more

For the Redskins, NFL Playoff Season Means. . . Constitutionality Questions?

The NFL playoffs aren’t the only big football news happening this month! The U.S. Department of Justice recently decided to intervene in the Washington Redskins trademark litigation over the constitutionality of certain...more

First Amendment Protects Use of Third-Party’s Trademark in Video Game

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. et al. - Confirming that video games, including customizable multi-player games, qualify as expressive works entitled to First Amendment protection, a California...more

The US Department of Justice Seeks to Intervene in the Washington Redskins’ Trademark Suit to Defend the Constitutionality of the...

The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government. Last week, the...more

Valencia v. Universal City Studios LLC

USDC, N.D. Georgia, December 18, 2014 - District court dismisses all claims of hip-hop dancer Honey Rockwell, who alleged that films Honey and Honey 2 violated her privacy rights and trademark rights, holding that some...more

Henley Is Not Taking It Easy

According to music icon Don Henley, intellectual property rights are not a joking matter....more

UK: Freedom of Speech - Unnamed artist to appeal publishing injunction in the Supreme Court

On 9 December a well-known British performing artist was granted permission to take his case to the Supreme Court, where he will appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision in OPO v MLA & STL, reported here in October 2014....more

Electronic Arts and its Disrespect for the Game

On September 11, 2014, the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument on the appeal in Davis v. Electronic Arts (Case No. 12-15737), a class action lawsuit brought by three former NFL Players against Electronic Arts (“EA”), the...more

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of publisher of military-action video game Call of Duty: Ghosts on trademark...more

Angry Monkey See, Angry Monkey Sue

Video games have come a long way since I was a kid. I grew up with a pixelated plumber jumping on on turtles with frozen facial expression. Sometimes it is hard to believe how far video games have developed, with games like...more

Vijay v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, October 27, 2014

Vijay v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, October 27, 2014: District court declines to find that preemption warrants dismissal of all claims brought by actor in “Titanic,” but grants...more

NFL Films Ruling Blurs Right of Publicity

Earlier this year the Seventh Circuit stated that “there is no judicial consensus on how to resolve conflicts between intellectual-property rights and free-speech rights.” Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 743 F.3d 509, 514...more

Federal Court Limits Tribe’s, Secretary’s Options When States Balk at Gaming Compact

A federal district court in New Mexico has issued a decision finding that the U.S. Department of the Interior’s regulations permitting the Secretary of the Interior to adopt Class III gaming procedures for a tribe lacking a...more

Executing Noriega?

As some of you may recall, I posted about a lawsuit Manuel Noriega brought against purveyors of the Call of Duty video game franchise arising from his depiction in the game. In essence, I suggested that Noriega’s lawsuit was...more

Midwest Gaming Win Reinforces Division Between Police and Taxing Powers

In United States v. Doremus, 249 U.S. 86 (1919) the Supreme Court held that a tax law “may not be declared unconstitutional, because its effect may be to accomplish another purpose as well as the raising of revenue.” That...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

Per Second Circuit: Full Text Searchable Database Is Fair Use

Authors Guild, Inc., et al. v. HathiTrust, et al. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirming a district court summary judgment ruling in favor of a consortium of authors, ruled that the unauthorized...more

Defeating “Libel Tourism” under Mississippi law and the SPEECH Act

In Trout Point Lodge, Ltd. v. Handshoe, 729 F.3d 481 (5th Cir. 2013), the Fifth Circuit became the first appellate court in the country to interpret the Securing the Protection of Our Enduring and Established Constitutional...more

Fur Flies and West Hollywood (“WeHo”) Fur Ban Is Upheld By Federal Court

West Hollywood, California’s controversial law banning the sale of fur within city limits survived a legal challenge by a luxury retailer last month. A federal court dismissed the action brought by Mayfair House Inc., a...more

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