Intellectual Property Communications & Media Art, Entertainment & Sports

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Losing Control of V

A common client question is: “Can I ‘get in trouble’ for copying a picture, drawing, or cartoon and pasting it into my report, PowerPoint, etc.?” Before you can answer, they try to answer their own question, adding “Everyone...more

qech wej QaD trademark nIH (Trademarks Don’t Protect Ideas)

Lucas Film Limited has sued Michael Brown and his Light Saber Academy for trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution, cybersquatting, state unfair competition, and dilution, arising from Mr. Brown’s running an...more

Court Holds That Fashion Designer Karen Millen Cannot Use Her Name in Connection with Future Clothing Lines

A recent UK court held that Karen Millen, a fashion designer and co-founder of the Karen Millen brand, was prohibited from using her name, KM or K.Millen or any other confusingly similar names in connection with clothing and...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

Advanced Copyright Issues on the Internet

During recent years, the Internet has become the basic foundational infrastructure for the global movement of data of all kinds. With continued growth at a phenomenal rate, the Internet has moved from a quiet means of...more

ITV & Others v TVCatchup – Advocate General’s opinion makes light work of Court of Appeal’s uncertainty as to the meaning of...

In the previous installment of this dispute, the UK Court of Appeal (CA) referred questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the meaning of the expression ‘access to cable of broadcasting services’ used...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, September 8, 2016

In most recent decision on The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings, district court grants Sirius XM partial summary judgment, dismissing plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages, but permits plaintiffs to seek disgorgement of...more


When members of Team USA walked into the 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremony wearing uniforms embroidered with the letters "USA," the uniforms did more than just designate the team members' identity as representatives of the USA....more

MarkIt to MarketTM - August 2016

The August 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter explores the guidelines surrounding claims of "Made in the USA" and the use of scents to build strong brand identities. Please see full newsletter...more

Augmented Reality

If you haven’t heard about newest gaming craze yet, it’s based on what is called “augmented reality” (AR) and it could potentially impinge on your home life and workplace as such games allow users to “photograph” imaginary...more


It’s Olympics time! And while most of the news has been about Zika and the conditions on the ground in Rio, brand owners know this as a time when the U.S. Olympic Committee is on the warpath sending notices and cease and...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Summer 2016

Supreme Court Expands Discretion to Award Enhanced Damages for Patent Infringement and Eliminates the Federal Circuit’s ‘Seagate Test’ - In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court...more

The Olympic Branding Blackout

Has there been a more constant presence at the Rio Olympics than #brands? I saw it everywhere, from the Polo-branded opening ceremony garb (met with the requisite outrage) to Michael Phelps’ “MP” branded swimwear (of...more

Gossip Cop Gets Cuffed For Copyright Infringement

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently found that Gossip Cop, a website that rates celebrity gossip on a scale of “real” to “rumor,” infringed the copyrights in three photographs of famous...more

Dancing Baby Waltzes Up to The Biggest Dance Floor in the Land

It’s not every day that SCOTUS is asked to review a case involving a video of a dancing baby. But that’s what happened late last week when the lawyers for Stephanie Lenz asked the Court to review the 9th Circuit’s decision...more

Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc. v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, August 1, 2016

District court grants motion for reconsideration, reviving Lions Gate’s claim of trademark dilution in dispute over advertising campaign that used modified version of famous line “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” from movie...more

Zero Tolerance #USOC Trademark Overreach

By way of follow-up to Tim’s and David’s recent discussions about Rio2016 and related U.S. Olympic Committee trademark enforcement issues, it appears that a local Minnesota carpet cleaning business called Zerorez, is poised...more

“Dirty Dancing” Trademark Dilution Claims Reinstated

This March, we reported on a California federal court’s dismissal of Lions Gate Entertainment Inc.’s (“Lions Gate”) trademark and unfair competition claims against TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, a number of its...more

The Water in Rio Isn’t the Only Thing to Worry About – So Are Olympic Hashtags

Social media is buzzing with Olympic hashtags, particularly #Rio2016 and #TeamUSA. But the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is cracking down on hashtag use by companies without Olympic sponsorship deals, calling it “ambush...more

DMCA Safe Harbor Protection Includes Pre-1972 Recordings

Vacating a district court’s decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit explained that the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects material posted on websites of online hosts...more

Three Point Shot - Summer 2016

800-Meter Champion Berian Eventually Outpaces Nike Endorsement Suit... Or Did He? World 800-meter champion Boris Berian is seemingly capable of out-running just about anything these days. Berian is just a year removed...more

“Gossip Cop” Held To Willfully Infringe Copyrighted Photos

In BWP Media USA v. Gossip Cop Media, a case sure to bring cheer to paparazzi and tabloid publishers everywhere, a judge in the Southern District of New York has found after a bench trial that a gossip website willfully...more

Getty Images Sued for Allegedly Seeking Licensing Fees for Photographs Available for Free Public Use

Getty Images, a well-known stock photo agency used by many news and publishing outlets, has been sued in the Southern District of New York for allegedly seeking licensing fees from individuals and corporations for the use of...more

Is the US Olympic Committee’s #TwitterBan Fair or Foul?

The 2016 Summer Olympics will officially* begin in eight days. Yet the U.S. Olympic Committee’s (USOC) efforts to enforce the Olympic trademarks are truly an eternal battle. While the USOC has a reputation for aggressively...more

The implications of Brexit on the entertainment and media industry

While the United Kingdom will not leave the European Union overnight, it is important to consider what the result of the Brexit referendum means to the entertainment and media industry. What are the challenges? How do we...more

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