Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports

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

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

Copyright Alert: Fox v Dish Summary Judgment Rulings

Mixed Outcomes on Copyright and Contract Issues Re: Volition, Time- and Space-Shifting, Intermediate Copying and Commercials-Skipping - In a complex opinion addressing intermingled copyright and contract issues, a...more

Davis v. Electronic Arts: Another Right of Publicity Loss for Media Companies

On January 6, 2015, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), maker of Madden NFL video games, lost its appeal to dismiss claims by approximately 6,000 retired professional football players in Michael Davis, et. al v. Electronic Arts,...more

Back to the Future—Supreme Court to Review Rule On Post-Expiration Patent Royalties

Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in affirming a district court decision that toy maker Marvel was not required to make payments after the expiration of a patent,...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle 2014: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Heading into this year’s Super Bowl party season, there are two things every lawyer should be concerned about. First, why can’t your team get it together? Second, what do you do if you are asked to explain to your friends and...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

Status Updates - January 2015 #4

Social drinkers. The founder of the Lagunitas Brewing Company decided to drop a lawsuit that he’d filed against Sierra Nevada for trademark infringement after beer drinkers expressed their disapproval of the suit on Twitter. ...more

Davis v. Electronic Arts Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, January 6, 2015

In Depth - Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s denial of EA’s anti-SLAPP motion, finding that EA did not show probability of prevailing on its incidental use defense because EA’s use of images of former NFL players...more

Amber Coyle v. Michael O’Rourke - USDC, C.D. Cal., January 5, 2015

In Depth - Plaintiff models sue defendants in California state court for statutory invasion of privacy and common law misappropriation, and, following removal, district court remands because subject matter of state law...more

College Football Crowns an Undisputed Champion; But Rights to the Trademark COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF Remain In Dispute

This has been an exciting week in Buckeye Nation – The Ohio State University’s football team won the first-ever college football national championship determined by a playoff system, defeating the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20. It...more

Does the Ebola-free Nurse Doll Raise a Right of Publicity Claim?

In general, a right of publicity is a right to control use of your name, likeness, and other aspects of your identity. Right of publicity laws normally give an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their...more

Netflix’s Apparent Crackdown on Geoblock Circumventers

Recent reports indicate that Netflix may be cracking down on the use of virtual private networks (VPN) and similar mechanisms to log into Netflix. While VPNs provide enhanced network security, they are commonly used by...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

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - January 2015 (Global)

UK: World Anti-Doping Agency announce collaboration with Pfizer - On 3 December 2014, the World Anti-Doping Agency announced a global collaboration agreement with American pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc, aimed at...more

Stan Lee Media, Inc. v. The Walt Disney Company

USCA, Tenth Circuit, December 23, 2014 - Tenth Circuit dismisses Stan Lee Media’s copyright infringement claim against Disney, finding that plaintiff was collaterally estopped from asserting copyright infringement...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

At Least the Court Didn’t Blow This Call . . . Thoughts on the Oklahoma City High School Football Case

It’s not exactly a decision in the intellectual property sphere, but a recent ruling by a judge in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma related to a botched call in a high school football game deserves to be called-out for praise....more

Failure to Name Real Party in Interest Dooms Petition

In Paramount Home Entertainment Inc. v. Nissim Corp., IPR2014-00961, Paper 11 IPR2014-00962, Paper 11 (December 29, 2014), the Board denied institution of inter partes review of claims 1–27 of U.S. Patent No. 7,054,547 for...more

Truth or Consequences: Sanctions Fly in Telenovela Copyright Infringement Case

The case of Latele Television v. Telemundo Communications Group might have been a simple factual dispute over copyright ownership, but instead it has devolved into a series of accusations — including allegations of willful...more

USA: Do Athletes Have Rights of Publicity in Live Broadcast Footage? Minnesota Court Offers Guidance

U.S. courts have recognized that “there is no judicial consensus on how to resolve conflicts between intellectual-property rights and free-speech rights.” Indeed, courts have adopted varying approaches to analyzing right of...more

GLOBAL: The rise of drones as an issue in sport

The remote controlled aircraft which flew a flag emblazoned with an Albanian symbol over the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania in October 2014 brought a premature end to the match amid violent scenes, with...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

The New Private Copying Exception: The UK Music Industry Wants to be Paid for It

Three UK music industry organisations, the Musician’s Union, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, and UK Music, have recently launched a legal action seeking leave to apply for judicial review of the...more

A Trap For Santa: The First Santa Claus IP Fight

At this time of year, you may be wondering about the first intellectual property case involving Santa Claus. And even if you are not, we are going to tell you....more

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