Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports

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"Ready? Okay!": Clothing Design Copyright Affirmed by Sixth Circuit Despite Dissent Stating Industry is "a Mess"

Recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ("Sixth Circuit") in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC, decided that clothing designs (in this case, a cheerleading uniform) can be protected by copyright under the...more

Trademark Review | August 2015

The Redskins Lose Again (Off the Field)- A federal District Court affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) ruling that “Redskins” cannot be registered as a trademark for use in connection with a...more

Michael Jordan Testifies He Doesn’t Do Deals For Less Than $10 Million: Jury Awards Him $8.9 Million In Lawsuit Over Use Of His...

A jury awarded Michael Jordan $8.9 million this week after he testified he doesn’t do deals for less than $10 million and he would never have done a deal with the grocery store chain Dominick’s Finer Foods, LLC, as it wasn’t...more

Jordan $8.9M – Dominick’s 0: Star Wins Over Unauthorized Use of Name

For years, Michael Jordan dominated opponents on the basketball court. Now, he seems to be doing the same in legal courts. Last week, a jury ordered Chicago grocery chain Dominick’s (now owned by Safeway) to pay the former...more

Ya Down With TPP?: How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Answer the Question of Artists’ Termination Rights in Sound Recordings

In a recent blog, I wrote about whether the U.S. Copyright Act’s work-made-for-hire doctrine applies to copyrights in sound recordings as that status affects artists’ termination rights in transfers. The responses I received...more

Supreme Court Corner – Q3 2015

In Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, the Supreme Court upheld a long-standing precedent that restricts the ability of a patent holder to charge a royalty beyond the term of a patent. In a 6-3 decision, the Court declined to...more

“BRING IT ON!”: Sixth Circuit OKs Copyright Claims for Cheerleader Uniform’s Design

On August 19, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y” for the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of cheerleader uniforms in its copyright infringement lawsuit against another cheerleading gear...more

Manatt Digital Media - August 2015

So You Want Music in Your Video: 5 Things to Remember so You Don't Get Sued - Last month we received a call from a woman who made an unassuming video of her daughter's wedding and added her favorite song as the musical...more

Shame on You Productions, Inc. v. Banks - USDC, C.D. California, August 14, 2015

Plaintiff Shame on You Productions, Inc., was assigned a screenplay titled “Darci’s Walk of Shame” by its author, Dan Rosen. Shame on You sued defendants, including actress Elizabeth Banks, for copyright infringement and...more

NLRB Punts on First Down: Declines to Exercise Jurisdiction in Northwestern University Football Players Union Representation Case

The NLRB’s decision is limited to the facts presented by the Northwestern case, and the Board may assert jurisdiction in another case involving scholarship athletes at a later date. On August 17th, the National Labor...more

ROYAL PAIN: Brits Can’t Even Copy Their OWN Music

This blawg focuses on US law as it pertains to technology and entertainment, but a recent decision of the High Court of the United Kingdom just caught my interest. The High Court of the United Kingdom held that certain...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

New Old Music Group, Inc. v. Gottwald - USDC, S.D. New York, August 7, 2015

New Old Music Group sued Lukasz Gottwald (Dr. Luke) and others for copyright infringement of the song “Zimba Ku,” written by New Old’s president Lenny Lee Goldsmith and recorded by the band Black Heat in 1975. At issue was...more

Silvero v. Fox Television Studios, Inc., et al. - Los Angeles Superior Court, August 6, 2015

Frank Silvero, an actor who played the character Frankie Carbone in the film “Goodfellas” and other similar mobster characters during his career, filed suit against Fox Television alleging that the writers of the animated...more

Kimble v. Marvel Changes How Patent Licenses Should Be Drafted and Also Diligenced in Transactions

In 1990, Stephen Kimble obtained a patent for a toy that allowed children and adults to shoot “webs” from the palms of their hands. Kimble met with the president of Marvel Enterprises, Marvel Entertainment’s predecessor, to...more

Atlanta Rapper Rich Homie Quan Seeks Cancellation or Transfer of Trademarks and Over $2,000,000 in Damages

Think It's A Game Entertainment, LLC ("TIG"), an Atlanta-based production company, Fly Merchandise Enterprises, LLC ("Fly"), and Girvan Henry ("Henry"), have left Atlanta rapper Rich Homie Quan feeling "some type of way."...more

Play for Pay? Not Today, Says the Ninth Circuit in the Latest NCAA Ruling

Whether the amateurism rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violate federal antitrust laws remains an active issue before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But the dramatic changes ordered by U.S....more

Caveat Opposer: Preclusion Lurks at the TTAB

Recently, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “TTAB”) held that an unsuccessful opposer was precluded from later pursuing a cancellation against the same trademark owner, even though the opposer assumed a different...more

Delivering Architectural Plans May Create Implied License - Hunn v. Dan Wilson Homes, Inc.

Where an architectural draftsman left his design firm mid-project and later used partial plans drawn during his employment to complete the project, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the ruling that the...more

No Copyright in Individual Contributions to a Film - 16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin

Citing the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit’s recent en banc decision in Garcia v. Google (IP Update, Vol. 18, No. 6), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling that...more

Could the Bieb Be a Copyright Infringer? - Copeland et al. v. Bieber et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated a district court decision dismissing a copyright infringement claim in a case involving a copyrighted song and a later recording by Justin Bieber concluding that that...more

Ray Charles Foundation v. Robinson - USCA, Ninth Circuit, July 31, 2015

Ninth Circuit reverses lower court’s dismissal for lack of standing of action brought by Ray Charles Foundation, finding that Foundation, sole beneficiary of music legend’s estate, had standing to challenge validity of...more

The Superb Owl v. The Super Bowl -- NFL files Opposition Against Phoenix Non-Profit

Everyone knows the National Football League (“NFL”) takes its trademark policing and enforcement responsibilities very seriously. In fact, the NFL is so aggressive that its efforts have been frequently mocked and discussed by...more

REDSKINS affirmed as disparaging. Appealed to 4th Circuit.

In its June 18, 2014 Blackhorse decision, the TTAB ordered six Redskins trademarks to be cancelled as disparaging to Native Americans at the time they were registered....more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - July 2015

INTERNET EU: The end of roaming charges and the emergence of net neutrality - The European Commission has secured an agreement with the European Parliament and the Council to end roaming charges and to introduce the...more

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