Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports

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DeVito Artworks LLC v. Legendary Pictures LLC - California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, August 5, 2016

In dispute over pitch for television series about origins of King Kong, Superior Court holds that plaintiff’s implied contract with makers of “Kong: Skull Island” film not to use ideas without compensation was not barred by...more

#RIO, #SUPERBOWL, #FAIRUSE?

It’s Olympics time! And while most of the news has been about Zika and the conditions on the ground in Rio, brand owners know this as a time when the U.S. Olympic Committee is on the warpath sending notices and cease and...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Summer 2016

Supreme Court Expands Discretion to Award Enhanced Damages for Patent Infringement and Eliminates the Federal Circuit’s ‘Seagate Test’ - In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court...more

Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin - USDC, C.D. California, August 8, 2016

District court rejects music publisher’s request for nearly $800,000 in attorney’s fees and costs as prevailing party in copyright dispute over Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven,” concluding lawsuit alleging infringement...more

The Olympic Branding Blackout

Has there been a more constant presence at the Rio Olympics than #brands? I saw it everywhere, from the Polo-branded opening ceremony garb (met with the requisite outrage) to Michael Phelps’ “MP” branded swimwear (of...more

Dancing Baby May Be Headed To Supreme Court

On August 12, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of its client, Stephanie Lenz, to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126...more

Gossip Cop Gets Cuffed For Copyright Infringement

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently found that Gossip Cop, a website that rates celebrity gossip on a scale of “real” to “rumor,” infringed the copyrights in three photographs of famous...more

Dancing Baby Waltzes Up to The Biggest Dance Floor in the Land

It’s not every day that SCOTUS is asked to review a case involving a video of a dancing baby. But that’s what happened late last week when the lawyers for Stephanie Lenz asked the Court to review the 9th Circuit’s decision...more

DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”

Greenberg Glusker music law partner William I. Hochberg was quoted in an August 4, 2016, Daily Journal article, “DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”...more

Ed Sheeran Gears up to “Get it On” in Another Copyright Lawsuit

English pop musician Ed Sheeran once again finds himself in the crosshairs of a high-profile copyright infringement lawsuit, this time in the Southern District of New York over alleged similarities between his smash hit...more

BMI Redux: BMI Seeks To Move To “Clarify” The DOJ Position On Partial Licenses

As we have previously blogged, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) rejected proposed modifications to the existing Broadcast Music, Inc. (“BMI”) and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (“ASCAP”) consent...more

Solid Oak Sketches LLC v. 2K Games Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, August 2, 2016

In copyright dispute over depictions of NBA players’ tattoos in “NBA 2K” video game series, district court dismisses tattoo licensing company’s claim for statutory damages and attorneys’ fees because copyrighted tattoo...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - August 2016

Supreme Court Abolished Federal Circuit's Test for Willfulness - On June 13, 2016, in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., 579 U.S. ___ (2016), the Supreme Court unanimously abrogated the Federal Circuit’s...more

Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc. v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, August 1, 2016

District court grants motion for reconsideration, reviving Lions Gate’s claim of trademark dilution in dispute over advertising campaign that used modified version of famous line “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” from movie...more

How Trade Dress Can Help Game Developers Level Up

As game developers continue to face both the threat of having their games cloned and accusations that they too are cloning games, it is increasingly important for developers to understand the safeguards that intellectual...more

Warning: Don't Use Trademarked Olympic Hashtags, Images

With all of the hype and public attention paid to the Olympics, you and your employees should be aware of the rules that govern the use of hashtags and images related to the Olympic games. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC)...more

Producers Beware: What happens when your movie distributor files bankruptcy?

The Issue - There has been written a plethora of articles about Bankruptcy Code §365(n) regarding the rights of parties to license agreements when the licensor files a bankruptcy and rejects a license agreement....more

Second Circuit Revives Copyright Claims Against Sony and Ghostface Killah

In Urbont v. Sony Music Entertainment Inc., 15-1778, the Second Circuit recently revived claims against Sony and Ghostface Killah, holding that although third parties may raise a work for hire defense, here there were factual...more

Zero Tolerance #USOC Trademark Overreach

By way of follow-up to Tim’s and David’s recent discussions about Rio2016 and related U.S. Olympic Committee trademark enforcement issues, it appears that a local Minnesota carpet cleaning business called Zerorez, is poised...more

“Dirty Dancing” Trademark Dilution Claims Reinstated

This March, we reported on a California federal court’s dismissal of Lions Gate Entertainment Inc.’s (“Lions Gate”) trademark and unfair competition claims against TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, a number of its...more

The Water in Rio Isn’t the Only Thing to Worry About – So Are Olympic Hashtags

Social media is buzzing with Olympic hashtags, particularly #Rio2016 and #TeamUSA. But the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is cracking down on hashtag use by companies without Olympic sponsorship deals, calling it “ambush...more

Silas v. Home Box Office, Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, July 26, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement claim against creators of HBO’s television show “Ballers,” finding no substantial similarity between HBO’s show about retired football player who advises current players on...more

DMCA Safe Harbor Protection Includes Pre-1972 Recordings

Vacating a district court’s decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit explained that the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects material posted on websites of online hosts...more

Avoiding the Road to Ruin in Your Road To Rio Marketing Blitz

Late last month, the United States Olympic Committee (the “USOC”) sent a few not so nice warning letters to brands that sponsor athletes, but chose not to pay the “golden” price of becoming an “official” sponsor of the games....more

Newt v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, July 27, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement claim against creators of Fox’s television show “Empire,” finding no substantial similarity between Fox’s show about struggle for control of music company and plaintiff’s...more

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