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Recent Developments in Copyright: Blurred Reasoning and I Won't Back Down Until You Stay with Me

The jury's March 10th verdict in the "Blurred Lines" case has understandably generated a significant amount of interest and attention from the public, and has also led to differing opinions from legal experts as to whether...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

Fear the Brow, or Fear the Trademark Specimen?

Celebrity has its advantages. Slogans and taglines are big business in professional sports, which in turn has led to some entertaining trademark applications: JOHNNY FOOTBALL and LINSANITY, to name a couple. As Martha noted...more

Jury Finds Singers, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, Owe $7.4M for Copyright Infringement

On March 10, 2015, a California federal jury awarded Marvin Gaye’s children nearly $7.4 million after deciding that pop stars, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, copied Gaye’s 1977 song, “Got to Give It Up,” in writing their...more

New Copyright Case Highlights Issues Relevant to Photographers

Photographers are often disturbed to find that they are without a meaningful remedy when their work is infringed, because they didn’t register the copyright in their photographs....more

The Lines Just Got Blurrier for Musicians

I have previously discussed the Marvin Gaye and Robin Thicke/Pharrell Williams copyright dispute over the song “Blurred Lines”. Earlier this week, matters got considerably worse for the funk duo: a jury found that “Blurred...more

The Blurred Lines of an Infringement Action

Many of you may be familiar with the pop hit “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, Clifford Harris, more popularly known as T.I., and Pharrell Williams (the “Composers”). If it does not sound familiar by title, perhaps you may...more

Foster v. Lee - USDC, S.D. New York, February 25, 2015

Plaintiff Lelanie Foster, a freelance photographer, conducted a photo shoot for JJ Eyelashes, a business that produces silk eyelash extensions and owns several salons at which those eyelashes are made available for sale and...more

It’s Not All Rainbows and Butterflies: YouTube’s Beauty Guru Fights Back Against Ultra Records

Michelle Phan is a YouTube celebrity and beauty guru and has garnered over 7 million subscribers and one billion lifetime views. However, not everyone is a fan of Ms. Phan. On July 16, 2014, Ultra International Music...more

Is the Comic Book Character Copyright Infringement Saga Finally Over? - Stan Lee Media, Inc. v. The Walt Disney Co.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a copyright infringement complaint by an entity that has brought similar copyright ownership claims against famed comic book author...more

New York Court Gives Final Approval to $58.5 Million Music Licensing Settlement

On February 19, 2015, the District Court for the Southern District of New York issued final approval of a $58.5 million settlement between performing rights society SESAC (Society of European Stage Actors and Composers) and...more

Summary Judgment Denied On “Fair Use” Defense In 9/11 Photograph Case

On February 10, 2015, the Southern District of New York denied Fox News’ motion for summary judgment in a copyright lawsuit involving the posting of a copyrighted image on its Facebook page. North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v....more

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

Alviero Martini recently decided to bring an appeal against the decision of the Court of Milan, in the proceedings brought against Alviero Martini S.p.A., which acquired the trademark “Alviero Martini Prima Classe”....more

And the Lawsuit Goes to . . . An Oscar-Time Guide to “Best Picture” Intellectual Property Litigation

The film that wins the Best Picture Oscar this year is certain to attract more viewers and more box office receipts than it had before receiving the award. But Best Picture winners also tend to attract more lawsuits,...more

Belgium: New Developments In The Framework Of The Copyright Protection Of Handbags

In a recent judgment concerning a dispute between Jean Cassegrain S.A.S (Longchamp) and a Belgian reseller of leather handbags, the Court of Appeal of Ghent denied copyright protection to Jean Cassegrain’s handbag “Le...more

Are You Ready to "Party Like It's 1989"? Be Sure to Get Taylor Swift's Permission First

Famous country-music-turned-pop-star Taylor Swift made headlines recently when she filed a slew of trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for various lyrics from her latest album, entitled...more

YouTube Kills Viral Video for Being Too Popular, Six Year Old Sues

Sure, there are lots of viral YouTube videos.  There’s Katy Perry’s left shark, the owls dance off  and of course the kitten sup-purr bowl, but it might surprise you to learn that YouTube removed a video for being too...more

Claims to a method of making a baseball highlight video not infringed

Baseball Quick, LLC v. MLB Advanced Media L.P. Case Number: 1:11-cv-01735-KBF - Judge Forrest granted summary judgment of non-infringement of claims for producing a highlight video of a baseball game....more

In re Charles W. Dowdy - U.S. Bankruptcy Court, S.D. Mississippi, January 28, 2015

Mississippi bankruptcy court holds that agreement encompassing both settlement agreement resolving claims for past-due performance royalties and contemporaneously executed ASCAP licensing agreements is not a single agreement,...more

12th Man Down

In the wake of our 49th Super Bowl (er, “The Big Game”), it seems the Seahawks are not only making headlines with their last minute calls, but also with their IP strategies. Over the past couple of years, the Seahawks have...more

Trademark use within an expressive work must only pass the Rogers test, not a likelihood of confusion analysis: Mil-Spec Monkey v....

The likelihood of confusion test is often called the “cornerstone” of trademark infringement law. It may be in many circumstances, but it does not apply to allegations of infringement within expressive works, as the recent...more

Australia: What is and is not a “royalty” for withholding tax purposes? Latest key court decision

By Jock McCormack, James Newnham, Matthew Cridland and Eddie Ahn Introduction The taxpayer, Seven Network Limited, has won a recent decision (22 December 2014) in the Australian Federal Court, Seven Network Limited v Federal...more

UK: Passing Off – How Rihanna “found love” in the Court of Appeal

On 22 January 2014 the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court decision in a claim for passing off brought by global superstar Rihanna against Topshop. The dispute centered on a t-shirt which was sold by Topshop in its...more

(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Enforce Your Copyrights!)

The Beastie Boys can look back on 2014 as a year of good copyright outcomes. The preceding years had seen their music used without authorization in two promotional videos, by Goldieblox and Monster Energy, despite the...more

For the Redskins, NFL Playoff Season Means. . . Constitutionality Questions?

The NFL playoffs aren’t the only big football news happening this month! The U.S. Department of Justice recently decided to intervene in the Washington Redskins trademark litigation over the constitutionality of certain...more

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