Intellectual Property Personal Injury

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Right of Publicity Claims by Athletes Nearly Shut Out in 2015

When we published our Sue-per Bowl post, 2015 looked like it would be a good year for right of publicity claims brought by athletes. On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit in Davis v. Electronic Arts held that the First...more

Sirius Wins One in Florida, Florida, Florida!

On June 22, 2015, the Southern District of Florida held that artists have no public performance rights in their pre-1972 sound recordings under Florida law, in contrast to decisions from California and New York in related...more

Trump Goes A Rockin’: Neil Young Comes A Knockin’

Donald Trump, the New York real estate mogul and self-proclaimed business genius, just kicked off his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination at Trump Tower in Manhattan to the tune of Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The...more

Three Point Shot - May 2015

"Wild Thing" Forced to Tap Out in Battle against ESPN - Last month, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals forced former professional wrestler Steve "Wild Thing" Ray to tap out in his battle against ESPN by dismissing the...more

Richard Prince’s Instagram Art: Do You Know Where Your Face Is?

Social media, it seems, has turned us all into photographers. Anyone with a Facebook page, an Instagram account or any of the other methods for socializing on the web, can post original photos for all the world to see,...more

Instagram for Sale: Artist Richard Prince’s New Portraits Sparks Controversy

In the past week, several news outlets and social media channels have been buzzing about artist Richard Prince’s exhibit New Portraits, which first debuted at the Gagosian Gallery on September 19, 2014 and was reborn with...more

Rights in Bob Marley's name and likeness trump free speech where defence not properly pleaded | World Trademark Review

Fifty-Six Hope Road is a company run by some of Bob Marley's children, and it owns the property rights to Bob Marley's name, voice and likeness. Hope Road licensed Zion Rootswear the exclusive right to use Marley's name and...more

Ray v. ESPN, Inc. - USCA, Eighth Circuit, April 22, 2015

Eighth Circuit affirms dismissal of professional wrestler’s state-law right of publicity claims arising from ESPN’s re-telecast of wrestling match footage as preempted by Copyright Act....more

The Bermuda Triangle of Online Defamation: Copyright, Clickwrap and the CDA

We have written many times about attempts to use copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. Because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) prevents a defamation plaintiff...more

Texas eMediaLaw Legislative Update: 2015

It’s Spring in Texas which means one of two things – the bluebonnets are out and in odd years, our legislature is back at work. One makes me grateful to be in Texas and the other only meets every other year. Here are a few...more

Media Companies Snipe at Potential Expansion of Defamation Risk in Ventura v. Kyle

“A Navy SEAL and a professional wrestler walk into a bar and begin to argue politics …” sounds like the beginning of a pretty good bar fight story. The story only gets more promising when you learn that the SEAL was the...more

Two Rights of Publicity Decisions Explore the Boundaries of Commercial Speech in Commemorating Public Figures

Two recent rights of publicity cases illustrated the parameters of using a public figure’s name, likeness, identity or image for commercial purposes, without consent for commemorative purposes. But when does commemoration...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

Bob Marley and Federal False Endorsement Claims

Since his death in 1981, reggae superstar Bob Marley and his “image” continue to be broadly popular and command millions of dollars each year in merchandising revenue. ...more

Liability for Commercial Speech: A Guide to False Advertising, Commercial Disparagement, and Related Claims

This volume summarizes related bodies of law – false advertising, commercial disparagement, and defamation – that govern the conduct of business communications. It sets forth elements, damages, and related defenses for each...more

Five Minutes With … National Security and Cybercrime Professor Ahmed Ghappour

This marks the inaugural “Five Minutes With” feature that Trade Secrets Watch will run occasionally.  These will be question-and-answers with notable figures in the trade secrets world. TSW got a chance to sit down with UC...more

Two California State Law Claims Are Dismissed With Prejudice

Sleet, J. Defendant’s motion to strike counts 9 and 10 under California’s Anti-SLAPP Stature is granted with prejudice. Defendant’s motion to dismiss counts 9-11 is denied in part and granted in part. Plaintiff’s motion to...more

Intellectual Property Exclusion Bars Coverage for Unauthorized Use of Famous Inventor’s Name to Sell Toys

In Alterra Excess & Surplus v. Estate of Buckminster Fuller (No. A140453, filed 3/9/15), a California Appeals Court held that an ISO policy’s exclusion for intellectual property unambiguously barred coverage for a Lanham Act,...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

Advertising Law - March 2015

NAD: A Product Can’t be The “#1 Prescribed Brand” Without Other Prescribed Brands - A “#1 brand prescribed” claim implies that professionals have a choice in prescribing brands, the National Advertising Division...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

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

USA: Ninth Circuit Rejects EA’s “Incidental Use” Defense in Madden-Related Right of Publicity Suit

On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit decided that Electronic Arts Inc.’s (“EA”) unauthorized use of former NFL players’ likeness as avatars in the Madden NFL video game series does not qualify for First Amendment protection....more

Does the Ebola-free Nurse Doll Raise a Right of Publicity Claim?

In general, a right of publicity is a right to control use of your name, likeness, and other aspects of your identity. Right of publicity laws normally give an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their...more

Latest Updates to Media Liability Insurance in California

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP partner James Castle recently enhanced and updated the chapter on Media Liability Insurance for LexisNexis' California Insurance Law & Practice. Cases discussed include: ?S.B.C.C., Inc. v. St....more

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