Intellectual Property Communications & Media Constitutional Law

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Socially Aware - Volume 5, Issue 7 - December 2014

In This Issue: - What’s in a Like? - R.I.P.: The Facebook “Like” Gate - Facebook Dislikes Fake Likes - Privacy in the Cloud: A Legal Framework for Moving Personal Data to the Cloud - Click...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

Supreme Court Told That TTAB Preclusion Raises Constitutional Concerns

As reported in our September 23 Client Alert, the Supreme Court is set to hear argument on December 2 on the issue of whether likelihood of confusion findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) are entitled to...more

Litigation Alert: California Superior Court Finds Use of Likeness of Former Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega in Video Game...

Manuel Noriega v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. BC 551747 (Cal Super. Ct. filed October 27, 2014) - In recent years, federal and state courts have wrestled with how to assess right of publicity claims in the video...more

Status Updates - November 2014

..Cuffed links. The Spanish parliament has passed what is commonly known as the “Google tax,” although it’s technically not a tax and doesn’t apply solely to Google. Rather, it’s an intellectual property law requiring online...more

October 2014: Trademark Litigation Update

Supreme Court Opens the Door to More False Advertising Claims. In a unanimous decision, Lexmark International Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1377 (2014), the Supreme Court held that a plaintiff...more

Unincorporated Associations Can Own and Enforce Trademark Rights

Southern California Darts Association v. Zaffina - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment and a permanent injunction in favor of a common law trademark owner whose marks...more

Holy Non-Infringement, Batman!

Fortres Grand Corporation v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - The U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a trademark infringement claim, finding that a real computer software product...more

Amici Weigh in on “Right to Register v. Right to Use” Trademark Case at Supreme Court

More than three months ago, we sounded the alarm about an important trademark case to consider the interplay between the right to register and the right to use a trademark:...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: Video Game Makers Strike Out In College Athlete Cases – Coaching Tips For The Virtual World

Over the past several years, I have written about a series of decisions in suits brought by former collegiate athletes against EA Sports and the NCAA, seeking compensation for the use of their likenesses and those of...more

Washington Redskins Challenge the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act

The Washington Redskins trademark controversy is far from over. Despite the fact that certain news and sports commentators and mainstream newspapers and organizations have announced that they will no longer use the term...more

Duke, Hershey, and Winston: Who gets to trademark a famous name?

Common sense tells you that you can always use your own name. But under trademark law, that’s not always true. Three recent cases illustrate this conundrum, which plays a major role in many Internet marketing and domain name...more

Copyright As An Online Reputation Management Tool: A Round Hole For A Square Peg

So, how is copyright law doing as an online reputation management tool? We have written many times recently about the use of copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. A...more

IKEA översittare: Bully or Baloney?

I once spent 20 minutes trying to figure out whether I was installing a metal insert for an NYMÖ lamp upside down, or rightside up. I’m still not sure I ever installed it correctly, but it’s still working. So there. But a new...more

“National Association For The Abortion of Colored People” Trademark Case Heads To Fourth Circuit

We previously reported on the dispute between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the conservative activist Ryan Bomberger. Bomberger had repeatedly referred to the NAACP in online...more

Hershey Is Not So Sweet on Maryland Senator’s HERSHEY Campaign Logo

When you think of The Hershey Company, you think of delicious chocolate candy bars, chocolate kisses, and a fabulous amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company’s brown candy bar wrappers with the HERSHEY’S trademark...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2014

Right of Publicity? First, Let Me Take a Selfie - “Oh, he wants to do a selfie,” President Barack Obama observed with amusement before gamely posing with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz snapped the...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Individual Performance in Film May Be Copyrightable

Recently in Garcia v. Google, 743 F.3d 1258 (9th Cir. 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an actress’ request to remove a provocative film from YouTube, because the film, in which she appeared for five seconds,...more

California Federal Court Finds that the First Amendment Does Not Preclude Sporting Event Participants from Asserting...

On April 11, 2014, a California federal court issued a First Amendment ruling that has potentially significant implications for broadcasters in the sports-media industry. Specifically, the Northern District of California’s...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Standing Requirements in False Advertising Lawsuits

On March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified who has the right to assert a federal claim for false advertising. In a unanimous ruling, the Court established that one company can sue another under the Lanham Act, the federal...more

Digital Content Producers (Still) Lack Antitrust Standing to Sue Wireless Carriers Over MMS

In a prior post, I covered the district court’s decision in Davis v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. There, the Central District of California dismissed antitrust claims against various wireless telephone companies and other...more

Tarantino’s “Hateful” Revenge: Director Pursues Copyright Claim Over Hyperlink To Leaked Script

Quentin Tarantino probably wasn’t offended when the Hollywood gossip website Defamer, owned by Gawker Media LLC, compared him to a petulant child and accused him of throwing a “temper tantrum.” After all, the colorful...more

California Federal Court Finds that the First Amendment Does Not Preclude Sporting Event Participants from Asserting...

On April 11, 2014, a California federal court issued a First Amendment ruling that has potentially significant implications for broadcasters in the sports-media industry. Specifically, the Northern District of California’s...more

Risks Of Tribute Advertisements Are Focus Of Seventh Circuit Decision

Think the First Amendment protects your business from liability for running an ad congratulating a celebrity or other public figure? Better think again. ...more

Right of Publicity? First, Let Me Take a Selfie

“Oh, he wants to do a selfie,” President Barack Obama observed with amusement before gamely posing with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz snapped the shot using his Samsung smartphone during a visit to the...more

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