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Naruto v. Slater - USDC, N.D. California, January 28, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement action brought on behalf of macaque monkey who took “selfies” using defendant photographer’s camera, holding that animals lack standing under the Copyright Act....more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle II: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Around this time last year, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those IP-ish lawsuits that I’m supposed to know about. So...more

Court Enters Final Dismissal of “Monkey Selfie” Case

As anticipated, the judge presiding over the “monkey selfie” copyright case has dismissed the complaint for copyright infringement brought by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ostensibly on behalf of a...more

The Door Is Open To Disparaging Trademarks

Federal Circuit Rules § 2(A) of tThe Lanham Act Unconstitutional - Refusal to Register Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional - On December 22, 2015, the Federal Circuit in In re Simon Shiao Tam ruled that Section...more

Trademark Review | January 2016

Federal Circuit Holds Refusal to Register Disparaging Trademarks is Unconstitutional - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, issued a ruling that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violates the...more

In re Simon Shiao Tam - USCA, Federal Circuit, December 22, 2015

In case with potentially far-reaching effects, including on Washington Redskins’ ongoing legal battle to maintain federal trademark registration, Federal Circuit sitting en banc strikes down federal statute that permits...more

Of Slants, Skins and Signs: Another Step Closer to the Showdown

In September, we discussed In re Tam and the potential for a showdown over the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. At that time, a panel of the Federal Circuit had recently upheld the PTO’s refusal to...more

Washington Redskins Haven’t Won Yet: Why the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) is Not Yet Final

What do Washington D.C.’s NFL team, the Redskins, and Mr. Tam’s rock band, The Slants, have in common? Both have enjoyed unexpected victories recently and both have been called “disparaging” by the Patent and Trademark Office...more

The Federal Circuit Breathes Life into the Redskins’ Appeal

If you’re a fan of intellectual property or the National Football League, you may have heard about last July’s ruling in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. There, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee...more

Federal Circuit: Lanham Act “Disparaging” Mark Prohibition Unconstitutional

On December 22nd the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its sua sponte en banc In re Tam decision regarding the constitutionality of the “disparaging” marks bar under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. A Federal...more

Trademark Wars: The First Amendment Strikes Back – Lanham Act’s Disparaging Trademark Registration Ban Struck Down as...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, en banc, has ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act precluding “disparaging” trademark registrations is unconstitutional, rejecting the argument that trademark...more

Alert: Federal Circuit Strikes Ban on "Disparaging" Trademarks

On December 22, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, overturned decades of case law by holding that a statute barring federal registration for trademarks that "may disparage" people,...more

Federal Circuit: Disparagement Proscription of § 2(a) of the Lanham Act Unconstitutional

In the last several decades, the disparagement provision of § 2(a) of the Lanham Act has become a more frequent basis for rejection or cancellation of trademarks by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and...more

In re Tam: Section 2(a) Unconstitutional Under The First Amendment

In a landmark First Amendment decision relating to the Lanham (Trademark) Act, the Federal Circuit, en banc, struck down § 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), the statutory provision barring registration of...more

Federal Circuit Rules Federal Trademark Statute Ban on Disparaging Marks to Be Unconstitutional

On December 22nd, 2015, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the section of the Lanham Act which bans registration of “disparaging” trademarks is an unconstitutional violation of First Amendment free...more

In re Tam en banc decision—Lanham Act 2(a) is unconstitutional

In a highly anticipated decision, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, ruled today that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which bars registration of marks that “disparage” a group of persons,...more

When Copying is Not Copyright Infringement

A longstanding battle between Google and the authors of published books has been resolved (at least for now) in favor of Google. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has held that Google’s use of copyrighted books in its...more

Billy Mitchell v. The Cartoon Network Inc. - USDC, New Jersey, November 23, 2015

District Court grants Cartoon Network’s motion to dismiss right of publicity claim brought by plaintiff, well-known figure in video-gaming community and antagonist in documentary film The King of Kong, finding that cartoon...more

Why Virtual Gold Can’t Buy Plaintiffs Happiness

A federal court has soundly rejected a plaintiff’s contention that she suffered any real-world harm based on in-game losses of virtual currency. In Mason v. Machine Zone, Inc., plaintiff Mia Mason alleged that she was a...more

Garçon to FanDuel: Check please!

What are a veteran NFL player’s name, image, and likeness worth in the burgeoning (but recently beleaguered-by-lawsuits) daily fantasy sports gaming industry? NFL wide receiver Pierre Garçon’s putative class action lawsuit...more

Advertising Law - October 2015 #4

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Application of VPPA to Free App - The latest decision interpreting the application of the Video Privacy Protection Act in the context of twenty-first century technology provides positive news for...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - October 2015

The "Dancing Baby" Case—Ninth Circuit Rules That "Fair Use" Must First Be Considered Before Sending Takedown Notices Under the DMCA - Why it matters: On September 14, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Lenz v. Universal...more

Ray Charles Foundation Can Challenge Heirs’ Attempt to Reclaim Copyrights - Ray Charles Foundation v. Robinson et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of a suit brought by the sole beneficiary of the Ray Charles estate, concluding that the Ray Charles Foundation had standing to challenge...more

Third Circuit Rejects New Jersey's Bid to Legalize Sports Betting—Again

For the second time in two years, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the state of New Jersey's attempt to legalize sports betting because it conflicts with federal law. In a 2-1 decision in NCAA v. Christie...more

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

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