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Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Remedies

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

In Matal V. Tam, Scotus Rules Prohibition On Disparaging Trademarks Unconstitutional

The Asian American members of the band the Slants adopted that name to “reclaim” and “take ownership” of the derogatory term. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) refused to register a trademark application...more

Three Point Shot - August 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Eastern District Heavyweight Bout Ends in Stunning Trademark Technical Knockout - Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor's late-August 2017 matchup may be the most highly anticipated boxing event in decades. But while "The...more

Court Rejects Infringement Claim Against Alan Jackson

by Brooks Pierce on

On October 27, 2016, North Carolina songwriter Timothy Arnett sued the legendary country star Alan Jackson in the Eastern District of North Carolina for alleged copyright infringement. Arnett claimed that Jackson’s song...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

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

“Not So Fast,” Mr. THRILLED Daniel Snyder

Lee Corso (former coach and ESPN football analyst) frequently utters this famous sports media catchphrase on ESPN’s “College GameDay” program: “Not so fast, my friend!”...more

Meow- Copycat Fur and Bows - Forever 21 Stares Down Puma

by Knobbe Martens on

As discussed in our previous blog post Puma Treads New Territory Hitting Forever 21 with Copyright Allegations after the Supreme Court’s Star Athletica Decision, Puma sued Forever 21 for design patent infringement, trade...more

Can’t Say “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” for Copying Me

by Knobbe Martens on

On June 1, 2017, noted music and fashion photographer Danny Clinch filed suit in the Southern District of New York in connection with the use of two photographs of famed rapper Tupac Shukar (“Tupac”) on t-shirts. The...more

The Slants, The Redskins, and Free Speech for All Parties

This week’s Matal v. Tam (formerly Lee v. Tam) Supreme Court ruling serves as a reminder that free speech is a two-way street. It also suggests the value of a sympathetic litigant, at least in terms of public response....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

Matal v. Tam: Trademark Disparagement Clause Held Unconstitutional

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held in an 8–0 decision that the disparagement clause in the Trademark statute—which prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contemp[t] or disrepute”...more

Matal v. Tam: The Supreme Court Says You Can Register &%$£!*®

On June 19, 2017, the US Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam unanimously affirmed a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which precludes “disparaging” trademark...more

Two layers of photo ownership in conflict in street photography case

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

“I own the photos.” It seems like a simple statement, but in copyright law, ownership isn’t simple. One person can own physical photographs, but not have the right to use them, because someone else owns the copyrights....more

The Top Hits: Fashion Cases with a Big Impact

by Knobbe Martens on

Over the last year, there have been some significant trademark and copyright cases in the fashion industry. Below are summaries of recent cases all brand owners should know and understand. These cases touch on important...more

Resistance is Futile: Axanar Productions settles with CBS and Paramount to end copyright infringement suit over fan film

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Axanar will finally beam down to YouTube after CBS and Paramount Pictures (“Paramount”) reached a settlement with Axanar Productions to end all ongoing litigation regarding the Star Trek fan film....more

Fair use blocks out copyright claim over LeBron’s tattoo

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Courtside questions: Is it fair or foul to show a player’s tattoo in a video game? LeBron James is a talented individual: three-time NBA Champion; 13-time NBA All-Star. And he gave a more than respectable performance playing...more

Visual Artists Rights Act Review

In 1990 Congress added the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) to the Copyright Law as new Section 106A. Section 106A provides: 106A Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity - (a) Rights of Attribution...more

This RMLC/GMR Fight Is No Joke

Originally published in Radio Ink - January 12, 2017. Most radio stations have received emails in the past several weeks from both the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) regarding an...more

Will a court recognize ‘aerosol artists’?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

You may think of it as “graffiti,” but a court in New York must determine if “aerosol art” is “meritorious” and of “recognized stature” such that it gets special copyright protection....more

Two Heads May Be Better Than One, But Six Heads Won’t Help You Market Your Bar

Monte Thrasher brought a VARA complaint against Marci Siegel and Co-Op 28 for painting over his “Six Heads” mural in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2017

by Fenwick & West LLP on

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This. Intellectual Property Tips for the Esports Industry - With the annual Game Developers Conference spectacular in our rearview mirror, and the NBA’s partnership with Take-Two to...more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling on Incontinence Products Spill Over into Fashion?

by Knobbe Martens on

On March 21, 2017 the Supreme Court issued a monumental holding removing the availability of laches as a defense in a claim for damages under patent infringement. The case changes decades of legal precedent, and adopts...more

Blizzard v. Bossland: Game Over for Video Game Botting?

I’m a rules follower. Going back to the days of the Game Genie—a device that allowed gamers to play Super Mario Bros. with infinite lives or the Legend of Zelda with infinite bombs—I have always preferred the satisfaction of...more

Policing the Trademark Playground and Calling Out Bullies

The prevailing defendant in Louis Vuitton v. My Other Bag, LLC (previously blogged about in Louis Vuitton Left Holding the Bag), in a Motion filed on April 7 in the Southern District of New York (Case 1:14-cv-03419-JMF...more

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