Intellectual Property Civil Procedure Art, Entertainment & Sports

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Kullberg v. Pure Flix Entertainment LLC - USDC, C.D. California, October 12, 2016

District court dismisses screenwriters’ copyright infringement suit against Christian film “God’s Not Dead” for lack of substantial similarity to plaintiffs’ screenplay. ...more

TCA TV Corp. v. McCollum - USCA, Second Circuit, October 11, 2016

Second Circuit rejects fair use defense in copyright action brought by Abbott and Costello heirs for use of comic duo’s “Who’s On First?” routine in play “Hand to God,” but affirms dismissal on grounds that plaintiffs failed...more

10 Copyright Cases Every Fan Fiction Writer Should Know About

If you are a Star Trek fan, the name Axanar has almost certainly crossed your lips or your computer screen recently. Axanar is a film (well, at least a very good trailer aspiring to be a film) set in the Star Trek universe,...more

Iron Man Composer Battles Tech Giant Sony and Ghostface Killah

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of the composer of the 1960s Iron Man theme song, finding material facts in dispute as to whether the song was commissioned as a work for hire. Jack Urbont v. Sony...more

Infringement of Microscope Photos Yields Magnified Damages

Addressing several issues concerning damages in a copyright infringement case, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed a jury’s award of $1.6 million to a stem-cell photographer, but vacated and remanded the...more

Ninth Circuit Provides a Second Look at Willful Copyright Infringement **WEB ONLY**

In a case stemming from a copyright dispute over photographs of the legendary hip hop group Run-DMC, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a music...more

Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Joint Infringement Allegations under Iqbal/Twombly Pleading Standard

On September 30, 2016, the Federal Circuit issued an opinion affirming the District Court for the Southern District of New York’s dismissal of the plaintiff ’s complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) because the complaint...more

O’Bannon’s End: Supreme Court Rejects Appellate Review

The lawsuit against the NCAA over whether Division I men’s basketball and football players can be compensated for the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses came to an abrupt end on Monday as the U.S. Supreme...more

Supreme Court Rejects Effort By Redskins to Join Slants

The Supreme Court rejected the effort by the Washington Redskins to skip the 4th Circuit and Join the hearing of the USPTO appeal of the SLANTS case....more

Brandmarking - Volume 5, Number 2 - October 2016

Supreme Court Review of “Disparagement” Trademark Case May – or May Not – Implicate First Amendment, Impact Washington Redskins Case - The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear one of two high-profile cases that...more

Supreme Court Benches Dan Snyder’s Team

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Mr. Simon Tam’s arguments and review the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s majority decision striking as unconstitutional Lanham Act Section 2(a)’s bar against the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Redskins’ Petition to Join SLANTS Case

Further to our post last Friday on the SLANTS trademark case, the U.S. Supreme Court today, without comment, refused the Redskins’ Petition to join the SLANTS case challenging the U.S. Trademark Office’s ban on “offensive”...more

Federal Circuit Clarifies the Applicability of Alice to Software Patents

A recent decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (Federal Circuit) reversed a summary judgment of invalidity due to patent ineligible subject matter. The two patents at issue cover automating a 3-D animation method...more

The Slants Set To Rock at the U.S. Supreme Court

Simon Tam and The Slants now have a gig at the biggest judicial venue in the country: The U.S. Supreme Court. On September 29, 2016, the Court decided it will take the case of Lee v. Tam....more

Supreme Court Set to Settle Dispute over Washington Redskins Trademark Registration

There has been another twist in the story of the long battle by Native American interest groups to obtain revocation of the U.S. registration of the infamous Washington Redskins trademark. This is another step in the 20-year...more

Supreme Court Grants Cert. in USPTO Appeal of Slants Decision: Whether The Ban On Offensive Trademarks Violates The First...

The Supreme Court granted the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s petition for certiorari in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1101 (Fed. Cir. 2016). In that case, the USPTO denied registration of an application to register the...more

The SLANTS Trademark Will Play One More Gig: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will review whether the U.S. Trademark Office can deny registration of offensive trademarks or whether such prohibition violates the First Amendment. The dispute affects the...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The Supreme Court Grants Certiorari

We have been following the course of In re Tam as it has progressed through the PTO and the courts. To recap, at issue is whether Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of marks that may disparage...more

Beyoncé’s copyright case was destined for dismissal

For an entertaining education in how to analyze copyrightable similarity, you can’t do much better than U.S. District Cout Judge Jed S. Rakoff’s decision in Fulks v. Knowles-Carter (which you may wish to think of as Fulks v....more

Will anyone be offended if the Supreme Court finds the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act invalid?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it has granted certiorari in Lee v. Tam, a case closely followed by trademark law gurus. Lee is before the Court after the United States Court of Appeals for...more

“Disparaging” Federal Trademark Registrations: Gearing Up for the Main Event

Today the Supreme Court agreed to decide an ongoing conflict, pitting a trademark registrant’s First Amendment rights against longstanding law precluding trademark registration of “disparaging” marks....more

Sisyphus Touring Inc. v. TMZ Productions Inc. - USDC, Central District of California, September 23, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement suit brought by actor and musician Jared Leto against for posting video of him criticizing Taylor Swift, finding Leto did not own video and videographer validly...more

Supreme Court to Review Whether “Offensive” Names Can Be Trademarked

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review the Federal Circuit’s decision to strike down the Lanham Act’s ban on “disparaging” trademarks. The case, Lee v. Tam, No. 15-1293, involved an Asian American dance-rock band’s...more

European Court Of Justice: Linking To Playboy Pics May Infringe Copyright

On September 8, 2016, the European Court of Justice rendered a controversial decision in GS Media v. Sanoma Media, which has been acclaimed by copyright holders and heavily criticized by internet companies....more

McRo decision gives software/computer-based patents a big boost

On September 13, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held as patent-eligible patent claims directed to automated lip-synching for animated characters. This holding builds upon the few decisions thus far...more

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