Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports Communications & Media

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Status Updates - April 2015 #5

Photo negative. Daniel Morel, the photojournalist who was awarded $1.2 million in damages from news agencies that distributed his iconic Haiti earthquake pictures without his permission after he posted those pictures on...more

Wilson v. The Walt Disney Company - USDC, N.D. California, April 16, 2015

In copyright infringement action concerning trailer for Disney’s blockbuster film Frozen court denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment, finding that plaintiff established genuine factual dispute as to Disney’s...more

DMCA Advice from the Department of Commerce

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 was created to protect copyright owners from infringement of their works (such as photos, documents, music files, and videos) over the Internet. Amongst other things, the DMCA...more

Advertising Law - April 2015 #2

Red Light! Cab Companies Claim Uber Falsely Claims to Be Safer Service: What’s safer—riding in a cab or riding in an Uber car? - A new false advertising lawsuit raised that question when a coalition of 19...more

Balancing the Budget …and Balancing Copyright

The Government of Canada’s Budget Plan for 2015 proposes various measures within the expected areas of tax relief, job creation and economic growth measures.  It also includes a very unexpected proposal to extend the...more

Parody Or Rip Off?: Don Henley Won’t Take It Easy

Former Eagles drummer and co-lead singer Don Henley has just agreed to settle a lawsuit that he filed against Duluth Trading Co., the clothing retailer best known for its goofy cartoon ads on television. ...more

Chicago Cubs Make News Again with Trademark Lawsuit

The Chicago Cubs have been in the news lately relating to its legal battle over its new advertising signs with the surrounding rooftop bars and investors. However, the Chicago Cubs have also initiated a brand new lawsuit...more

DISHing it out with the Fox: How the Second Screen Has Survived Fox’s Copyright Attacks

January’s Central District of California ruling on Fox Broadcasting’s claims against the DISH Network clarifies some of the ambiguity surrounding second screen cross-device programming distribution and copyright infringement....more

The Dark Knight, Black Panthers, Ghosts and Ginger Rogers: Increasing Protection for Use of Trademarks in Promotions for...

Content creators of all stripes strive for realism in their depictions of the world. This is for good reason – media is more effective, and more immersive, when viewers recognize it as a reflection of the real world. Despite...more

Game Over: Plain and Ordinary Construction Results in Summary Judgment

Claim Construction Order and Order Granting Summary Judgment, Segan LLC v. Zynga Inc., 14-cv-01315 (Judge Vince Chhabria) - It is ordinary in patent cases for the patentee to ascribe “plain and ordinary” meaning to...more

Even In The UK, Think Twice Before Using Celebrity Endorsements

A recent legal case in the UK between singer Rhianna and fashion retailer Topshop has highlighted differences between publicity rights in the UK and some US jurisdictions. Rhianna sued Topshop for its sale of a t-shirt...more

Move Over Vanna White, Here Comes Marion Barry’s Kidney

In 2008, former Mayor of Washington, D.C., and then council member Marion Barry became ill with a kidney disease. To survive the illness, Mr. Barry required a kidney transplant, and one of his friends, Ms. Kim Dickens, came...more

Copycat Characters and the Selective Enforcement of IP Rights

Spring is here with summer just around the corner. While many are preparing for barbeques and boating, others are finalizing plans and perhaps costumes in preparation for Comic-Con (Comic Book Convention) season....more

A Modern Game of Hide and Go Seek? Some Lessons Learned Following Sony and Other Widely-Publicized Data Breaches

While the recent hack of Sony was prominent news because of the celebrity ties and potential geo-political implications, other prominent cyber-attacks over the last few months are enough to give any company pause. The January...more

.Casino gTLD Launches Sunrise

The new gTLD .casino opens to the public on June 3. Trademark owners may be able to register their trademark as a .casino domain name ahead of the public launch. The “sunrise” early registration period for trademark owners...more

March Madness: Trade Secrets Claims Block Billion Dollar Bracket

For those of us who revel in this time of year as amateur “bracketologists,” last year’s promise of the billion dollar bracket brought an added lottery-like level of fun to the NCAA basketball tournament. Even though the...more

.CASINO generic Top Level Domain Launches Sunrise

The new gTLD .casino opens to the public on June 3. Trademark owners may be able to register their trademark as a .casino domain name ahead of the public launch. The “sunrise” early registration period for trademark owners...more

ITV & Others v TVCatchUp: In the latest instalment in this long running dispute, the UK courts have again referred this case to...

TVC operates an internet-based live stream service, carrying a number of broadcasters’ channels. ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 issued proceedings against TVC in relation to the unauthorised transmission of both their public...more

Trademark Review | March 2015

Registration Cancelled Where Services Related to Mark Not Provided - Playdom, Inc. filed a petition to cancel Couture’s mark, arguing that the registration was void because Couture did not use the mark in commerce as of...more

“March Madness”: Protect Your Business From The NCAA

The NCAA Tournament is here, and many local businesses will want to capitalize on this exciting time for basketball fans by using the well known “March Madness” slogan to advertise March specials. Think twice before your...more

Let’s Get Personal – Trademark Protection for Personal Names

What’s in a name? Well, a name can suggest a lot about an individual, including their ancestry and heritage. We identify ourselves by, and answer to, our given names. ...more

It’s a Complete Red Haring: Court Dismisses Wide Ranging Art-Authentication Lawsuit against Keith Haring Foundation

Art is no stranger to great controversy, although the arbiters of art world disputes are usually critics and artists rather than federal judges. Nevertheless, in early March, Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New...more

What you can learn about trademarks from sports celebrities

The world of sports seems to generate more than its share of words and phrases that catch the public’s attention. But these also show how branding — and formal trademark protection — can go awry. Every time a sports...more

…..and Don’t Even Think About Advertising a MARCH MADNESS Event Either!

It is that time of year again, coming off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, when everyone gets on the college basketball bandwagon in the season of “MARCH MADNESS.” Brackets are being completed, college jerseys are being pulled...more

Three Point Shot - February 2015

Will Johnny Be Good, or Will Name Games Go up in Flames? Johnny Gaudreau, left wing for the Calgary Flames, is attempting to high-stick potential interlopers by locking up rights to his now-popularized nickname – Johnny...more

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