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Important royalty withholding tax decision

The taxpayer, Seven Network Limited, has won a recent decision (22 December 2014) in the Australian Federal Court, Seven Network Limited v Federal Commissioner of Taxation (2014) FCA1411, which is significant to all...more

The NFL’s Super Bowl Trademark Nonsense

It’s that time of year again. Time to tiptoe around and avoid use of or make any reference to the Super Bowl. Whoops. Anyway, we’ve discussed this phenomenon before...more

Don’t Even Think About Advertising a SUPER BOWL Party!

As we all know, Super Bowl XLIX will be played this Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona between the defending Champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. There will be events of all kinds organized all around the country...more

USA: Ninth Circuit Rejects EA’s “Incidental Use” Defense in Madden-Related Right of Publicity Suit

On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit decided that Electronic Arts Inc.’s (“EA”) unauthorized use of former NFL players’ likeness as avatars in the Madden NFL video game series does not qualify for First Amendment protection....more

Copyright Alert: Fox v Dish Summary Judgment Rulings

Mixed Outcomes on Copyright and Contract Issues Re: Volition, Time- and Space-Shifting, Intermediate Copying and Commercials-Skipping - In a complex opinion addressing intermingled copyright and contract issues, a...more

Davis v. Electronic Arts: Another Right of Publicity Loss for Media Companies

On January 6, 2015, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), maker of Madden NFL video games, lost its appeal to dismiss claims by approximately 6,000 retired professional football players in Michael Davis, et. al v. Electronic Arts,...more

Back to the Future—Supreme Court to Review Rule On Post-Expiration Patent Royalties

Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in affirming a district court decision that toy maker Marvel was not required to make payments after the expiration of a patent,...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle 2014: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Heading into this year’s Super Bowl party season, there are two things every lawyer should be concerned about. First, why can’t your team get it together? Second, what do you do if you are asked to explain to your friends and...more

Status Updates - January 2015 #4

Social drinkers. The founder of the Lagunitas Brewing Company decided to drop a lawsuit that he’d filed against Sierra Nevada for trademark infringement after beer drinkers expressed their disapproval of the suit on Twitter. ...more

College Football Crowns an Undisputed Champion; But Rights to the Trademark COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF Remain In Dispute

This has been an exciting week in Buckeye Nation – The Ohio State University’s football team won the first-ever college football national championship determined by a playoff system, defeating the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20. It...more

Does the Ebola-free Nurse Doll Raise a Right of Publicity Claim?

In general, a right of publicity is a right to control use of your name, likeness, and other aspects of your identity. Right of publicity laws normally give an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their...more

Netflix’s Apparent Crackdown on Geoblock Circumventers

Recent reports indicate that Netflix may be cracking down on the use of virtual private networks (VPN) and similar mechanisms to log into Netflix. While VPNs provide enhanced network security, they are commonly used by...more

Stan Lee Media, Inc. v. The Walt Disney Company

USCA, Tenth Circuit, December 23, 2014 - Tenth Circuit dismisses Stan Lee Media’s copyright infringement claim against Disney, finding that plaintiff was collaterally estopped from asserting copyright infringement...more

USA: Do Athletes Have Rights of Publicity in Live Broadcast Footage? Minnesota Court Offers Guidance

U.S. courts have recognized that “there is no judicial consensus on how to resolve conflicts between intellectual-property rights and free-speech rights.” Indeed, courts have adopted varying approaches to analyzing right of...more

Eponymous companies and use of the designer’s personal name: Mr. Alviero Martini vs. Alviero Martini S.p.A.

The Court of Milan has recently issued a decision in a case regarding the limits to use the personal name of a well-known designer by a company which had legitimately acquired the corresponding eponymous trademarks....more

Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy Company - USDC, S.D. New York, December 4, 2014

Following jury verdict in favor of Beastie Boys on copyright infringement and Lanham Act claims, district court denies defendant Monster Energy Company’s motions for judgment as matter of law, for new trial, and for reduction...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence (Global) - December 2014

BRAND REPUTATION - Global: How to protect brand reputation and sales from the risks associated with a product recall - The power of regulatory authorities to order product recalls is growing, meaning that it is more...more

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of publisher of military-action video game Call of Duty: Ghosts on trademark...more

The Sum of All Parts: Second and Ninth Circuits Poised to Address Movie “Authorship”

“There are no small parts, only small actors.” So says the film and theater maxim most frequently attributed to Russian actor and director Constantin Stanislavski. But how small a contribution is enough for an actor or...more

On December 15, 2014, The Ninth Circuit En Banc Will Hear Garcia v. Google, Inc./Actors And Producers Await The Result

On Monday, December 15, 2014, the Ninth Circuit en banc will hear argument in Garcia v. Google, Inc. 766 F3d 929 (9th Cir. 2014), amending 743 F.3d 1258 (9th Cir. 2014). A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit previously...more

Music Publishers Bring Contributory Copyright Claims Against ISP for Infringing Activities of Subscribers

In a novel lawsuit that tests the bounds of service provider liability, two music publishers brought suit against an ISP for contributory copyright infringement for allegedly facilitating infringement by failing to terminate...more

Goodfellas Actor Files Suit Over a Character from The Simpsons: The Limitations on Rights of Publicity Claims

On October 21, 2014, Frank Sivero, an actor who played Frankie Carbone in Goodfellas, filed a $250 million lawsuit against Fox and Abram Groening, the co-creator of The Simpsons, claiming that the wiseguy “Louie” character on...more

Business Round Up: The News and the Views

Thomas Pink Ltd v Victoria’s Secret UK Ltd [2014] EWHC 2631 (Ch) Two particular points for brand owners to take away from the decision: 1. If faced with an invalidity challenge on the grounds of s3(1)(b) or (c)...more

China Court Ruled Infringement for Ambush Marketing in Film Industry

The term “Ambush Marketing” originally came from inappropriate sport advertisement in western countries. It involves a marketing strategy wherein the advertisers associate themselves with, and therefore capitalize on, a...more

Can broadcast organisations forbid newspapers to publish full data on a weekly basis?

The decision in Football Dataco by the European Court of Justice ended the possibility by broadcasters of appealing to the so called Dutch Geschriftenbescherming (kleine Munze). In the commented case, the Amsterdam Court...more

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