Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure

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Is LeBron James a “Medium of Expression” under the Copyright Act?  We May Soon Find Out.

Many professional athletes these days—particularly those in the National Basketball Association—have their bodies bedecked with all sorts of tattoos. It’s a trend that has steadily caught fire over the last several years...more

Katy Perry, Last Year’s Super Bowl, and a Shark with a Mark

With Super Bowl 50 quickly approaching, it’s a perfect excuse to check in on one of the IP issues that made big waves at last year’s “Big Game.” You may recall that the Super Bowl halftime show last year featured Katy Perry...more

Popular Fantasy Football Draft Companies In Lawsuit Over Patent Infringement

Anyone who knows about fantasy leagues—or watches any professional or collegiate games—has undoubtedly heard of DraftKings and FanDuel. Both companies offer a Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) gaming website that allows people to...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

Second Circuit Holds Google Books Is Fair Use

In a much anticipated decision, handed down in October of last year, the Second Circuit held Google Books to be a fair use of the copyrighted works Google digitized, catalogued, and offered for on-line searching. The Second...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

Balancing Copyright Owners' Rights With ISP Immunities

When an online user violates copyright law, the copyright owner will frequently turn to the user's internet service provider (ISP) for relief. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) includes a safe harbor provision that...more

Should You or Any of Your C&D Team be Caught or Killed the Client will Disavow any Knowledge

Late in December, the attorneys for Metallica sent a Cease and Desist letter to Sandman, a Metallica tribute band playing in Toronto. Sandman lead, Joe Di Taranto, posted a copy of the letter on his Facebook page. After...more

Don’t Let Your Super Bowl Promotion Get Sidelined

Every year at this time clients call who want to take advantage of Super Bowl frenzy, whether by running an online sweepstakes, offering a special deal to customers on Super Sunday, posting memes on their Facebook pages,...more

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Paint — Sue! VARA Claim Filed Against Detroit Real Estate Company

News of up-and-coming Detroit-based artist, Katherine Craig, splattered across headlines in the art world when she recently filed a lawsuit under Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA). The complaint requests injunctive relief...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

Artist Sues Starbucks Claiming Copyright Infringement

New York artist Maya Hayuk was approached by an advertising agency working for Starbucks, to see if she would assist them with a proposed advertising campaign. Ms. Hayuk is known internationally for her paintings using bold...more

Are the San Diego Chargers Moving to Los Angeles?

The Chargers are still in San Diego, but is the team moving to Los Angeles? A clue to the organization’s intentions may be found in its trademark filings. On January 14, 2016, the team filed a trademark application for the...more

Simmons v. Stanberry - USCA, Second Circuit, January 15, 2016

Second Circuit affirms dismissal of infringement suit over hip-hop beat in 50 Cent song "I Get Money" after holding plaintiff's claim constituted dispute over ownership of copyright that was time-barred by Copyright Act's...more

Louis Vuitton and My Other Bag – Do You Get The Joke?

In a recent post, we discussed the trademark parody defense in the context of a California district court decision holding that the owner of the Superman “S” logo had adequately stated infringement claims asserted against a...more

Copyright Is Nothing To Joke About

Last summer, comedian Robert Kaseberg filed a copyright infringement suit against Conan O’Brien, among others, alleging that O’Brien incorporated four jokes written by Kaseberg in the opening monologues of his television show...more

The Complicated Relationship between DMCA Takedown Notices and the Word “Expeditious”

Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. When it comes to acting on copyright infringement takedown notices, just how fast is fast enough for social media platforms? Some recent (and not-so-recent) cases reveal how difficult the question...more

No Monkey Business Will Be Permitted in the Court

Under the U.S. Copyright laws “Copyright protection subsists … in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or...more

The Next Copyright “Fantasy” is Headed to The Supreme Court

The last time the U.S. Supreme Court tackled the issue of attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act was in Fogerty v. Fantasy. In that case, John Fogerty was sued for alleged copyright infringement over his song “The Old Man...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - January 2016

Highlights of 2015 and What to Watch in 2016 in The United States - Commil USA, llC v. CiSCo SyStemS, inC. (Supreme Court, may 26, 2015). In May, the Supreme Court held that a good faith belief that an asserted patent...more

Court tells Brooklyn Artist to “Fugetaboutit” on Her Copyright Claims against Starbucks

Maya Hayuk is a Brooklyn artist known for her vivid murals that use a variety of geometric shapes punctuated by bright hues and layers of dripping paint. In June of 2015, Hayuk filed a complaint against Starbucks on copyright...more

Don’t Get On the Wrong Side of Taylor Swift in a Copyright Case!

Taylor Swift has been in the news a lot over the last year or so. She is phenomenally successful. Her hit album “1989” concert tour was the highest grossing tour in the world in 2015 (over $250 million) and the highest...more

TCA Television Corp. v. McCollum - USDC, S.D. New York, December 17, 2015

District court dismisses plaintiffs’ claim of copyright infringement, finding that use of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?” routine in Broadway play “Hand to God” is transformative use and is protected by fair use...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

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