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Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure

Read Intellectual Property Law updates, alerts, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Update: Court finds transformative nature of alleged infringing work can’t be decided by side-by-side comparison

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Adding an Instagram border and a few “gobbledygook” notations to an original photograph is not transformative as a matter of law. In an update to our post on a case filed last year, a federal court in New York recently denied...more

Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition Action

by Dickinson Wright on

On behalf of the nationally well-known professional boxing promoter, New Jersey Sports Productions, d/b/a Main Events, Samuel Littlepage (Member, Washington, D.C.) and Melissa Alcantara (Member, Washington, D.C.) have filed a...more

The Grinch that stole fair use?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Since the Supreme Court’s 1994 Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music landmark decision, courts have expanded fair use protection. While not a license to take liberally from another work, the fair use test has often tilted in favor of...more

Ninth Circuit Purges Anti-SLAPP Motion for Contract Claims

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an action involving the popular film series The Purge, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court denial of the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion, holding that the plaintiff’s breach of...more

Fictional, but Protectable: Court Finds Planned Real-World “The Krusty Krab” Restaurant Would Violate Viacom’s Trademark Rights

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Summary Judgment Order, Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments, LLC, S.D. Tex. (January 11, 2017) (Judge Gray Miller) - The Emmy nominations have been announced, and the fall television season is just weeks...more

Protecting Online Games in China

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

With the exponential growth of online gaming (particularly mobile gaming) in China, more and more western content providers are entering the Chinese gaming market and seeking to protect their businesses in China’s courts...more

Did U2’s Bono And The Edge Copy Their Song The Fly From Another Artist?

This is the question being presented in a lawsuit pending in the Southern District of New York against the iconic band U2 and a majority of its band mates. Paul David Hewson (more well known as lead singer Bono), David...more

U2 Seeks Dismissal of “The Fly” Infringement Suit

by Brooks Pierce on

Earlier this year, a songwriter sued the members of U2, claiming that the U2 song, “The Fly” from the 1991 album “Achtung Baby,” infringed the songwriter’s 1989 song “Nae Slappin.” The plaintiff songwriter, Paul Rose,...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - July 2017

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Supreme Court Hits Reset on Patent Venue Law in TC Heartland - In the recent TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC decision, the Supreme Court reversed nearly thirty years of patent venue law and held that a...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2017

SCOTUS: For Patent Venue, Domestic Corporations ‘Reside’ Where Incorporated - Why it matters: On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC—rejecting...more

Does This Selfie Make Me Look Like a Copyright Infringer?

by Lewitt Hackman on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider a copyright infringement suit brought by a primate – specifically, Naruto, an Indonesian crested macaque that supposedly made fantastic use of his opposable thumbs and took a...more

DMCA Grandfather Clause Does Not Extend to Acquired Business

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) grandfather clause that allows “pre-existing subscription services” to pay the pre-1998 reduced royalty rate for digital music licensing, the US Court of Appeals for the...more

Band Trademark Can Rock On: Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an 8–0 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional...more

Matal v. Tam: Supreme Court Rules USPTO Prohibition of Offensive Marks Based On Disparagement Clause Is Unconstitutional Under...

Historically, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has refused to register trademarks considered to be offensive in that they disparaged a particular person, group or institution. Now the PTO cannot deny the...more

When Is Making A Movie Not An Act Of Free Speech?

by Weintraub Tobin on

I admit that the title of this article may be a bit deceiving. Making films, like any other production of art, is almost always an act of free speech. However, the Ninth Circuit was recently faced with a dilemma of...more

Three Point Shot - June 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

"12th Man" Suit Forces Aggies to Call an Audible on Traditional Copyright Defenses - Texas A&M University's "12th Man" is at the center of a legal blitz facing the University's Athletic Department. On January 19, 2017,...more

Update: Ban on Registering “Disparaging” Trademarks Unconstitutional

by Genova Burns LLC on

In a unanimous opinion based on differing rationale, the Supreme Court held that the federal prohibition on registering “disparaging” trademarks is unconstitutional. (Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293)....more

Supreme Court strikes down Lanham Act's disparagement clause as unconstitutional

by Dentons on

In a landmark decision that will significantly impact those seeking to block or cancel trademarks they consider offensive, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the "disparagement clause" of the federal trademark...more

SCOTUS: Supreme Court Holds Disparagement Clause of the Lanham Act Violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment

On June 19, 2017, in Matal v. Tam, previously Lee v. Tam, the Supreme Court handed down its most impactful interpretation of the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to date by holding that at its intersection with the...more

Supreme Court Holds Entities May Register Disparaging Trademarks

by Morgan Lewis on

The Lanham Act’s restriction on trademarks that disparage persons living or dead violates the First Amendment. Though the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has sometimes reversed its position on whether a...more

Supreme Court Holds THE SLANTS Can Be Registered as a Trademark: Disparagement Clause Violates the First Amendment

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

The Supreme Court today brought closure to Simon Tam’s seven-year legal journey seeking to obtain a federal trademark registration for his band name, THE SLANTS. The Court held in Matal v. Tam that the Lanham Act’s ban on...more

Trademark Newsflash: Supreme Court Strikes Down Disparagement Clause

Since 1946, when the Lanham Act was enacted, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied registration of any trademark that “consists of … matter which may disparage [any] persons living or dead….” Today,...more

MBHB Snippets: A review of developments in Intellectual Property Law - Volume 15, Issue 2

Preparing patent applications for examination at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires proficient writing, detailed knowledge of the requirements of the Patent Act, and technical acumen. Once a patent...more

There are Few Absolutes In Likelihood of Confusion; Apparently Fame isn’t one of Them

In Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, [2016-1089] (May 24, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision denying cancellation of Fairmont’s Reg. No. 4213619 on the mark...more

The Artist Formerly Known As…Warhol

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Lynn Goldsmith is a professional photographer who rose to fame in the 1970’s for her portrait photography, especially for her work with musicians and other entertainers. Her work has appeared on over 100 album covers....more

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