Personal Injury Art, Entertainment & Sports

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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

Insurers Pay to Avoid a Precedent Finding CGL Coverage for a Cyberbreach – the Zurich v. Sony Settlement

It was reported today that the widely-watched data breach case, Zurich American Ins. Co., et al  v. Sony Corp. of America (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Feb. 21, 2014), has been settled before the New York appellate court could issue an...more

WWE Faces Wrongful Death Suit for Alleged Concealment of Risks Associated with Concussions

Memphis, Tennessee is the most recent arena in which the WWE is defending itself against concussion-related claims brought by former professional wrestlers. On February 18, 2015, the widow of deceased wrestler Nelson Lee...more

Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-in-Fiction Claim

In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” has successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Unpopular Celebrities And The Right Of Publicity

In retrospect, the victories won by former college football stars in their right of publicity lawsuits against Electronic Arts and its hugely popular NCAA Football videogame franchise are hardly surprising. How could anyone...more

Dutch judge: online operator does not have to refund gambling losses

Through its website, the remote gambling operator gave the opportunity to participate in remote games of chance. Now that it is still not legally permitted to offer remote games of chance targeted to the Dutch market, the...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

Time for Your Close-up: The Right of Publicity in the Social Media Era

Michael Jordan is one of America’s most revered and iconic professional athletes. He spectacularly led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships, was named league MVP for five years and, off the court, reached a...more

Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer

In 2009, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. To commemorate Jordan’s career, Time Inc. published a special Sports Illustrated Presents issue that included congratulatory “advertisements” from several...more

Concussion Litigation: The Next Frontier

By now everyone has heard about the widely reported concussion lawsuits – former professional players suing because they claim to suffer from a form of brain injury, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), linked to...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

Head Injuries: Protecting Players in Youth Sports

A recent study by the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention revealed this: Coaches who underwent training by USA Football's Heads-Up Football program are better equipped to prevent player injuries....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

Client Alert: Summary Judgment under Primary Assumption of Risk Inappropriate Where Defendant Alleged to have Increased Risk of...

In Robert Fazio v. Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, 2015 WL 367100, published January 29, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, reversed the trial court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Fairbanks....more

Win Some, Lose Some: Assumption of Risk Defense Fails for Sports Complex Owners; Claims Against Dome Seller Dismissed

A plaintiff bringing product liability and premises liability claims against multiple defendants in an effort to cover all bases often leads to different legal defenses among classes of co-defendants and a scattered offense...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

Davis: Electronic Arts Gets a New Set of Downs and Still Can’t Score

Just over a month ago I wrote about the Davis v. Electronic Arts matter that was pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.  Specifically, I opined that the matter was ripe for Supreme Court review in light of the...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

Who can I sue if my team doesn’t make it to the Super Bowl? #LawsuitAttorney

Apparently, this is the question one man asked himself after the Dallas Cowboys lost in the NFL playoffs to the Green Bay Packers. A key play in that game came in the fourth quarter when a pass to Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant...more

Status Updates - January 2015 #3

A Craigslist conviction. The highest court in Massachusetts upheld the conviction under the Bay State’s anti-harassment statute of a couple who posted fake Craigslist advertisements that caused a great deal of trouble for...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

UK: Saracens Rugby Club adopts innovative approach to analysing concussion injuries

With the profound and long-lasting medical consequences of concussion becoming increasingly evident, Saracens Rugby Club has joined other sports organisations in adopting measures to protect the health of their players....more

NCAA Faces $50 Million Lawsuit for TBIs: College Athletes Experience Life-Threatening Side Effects from Head Trauma

Over the last several years, sports coaches and athletes have gained an increased awareness that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) sustained on the field can have serious and life-threatening consequences. Sustaining a...more

USA: Do Athletes Have Rights of Publicity in Live Broadcast Footage? Minnesota Court Offers Guidance

U.S. courts have recognized that “there is no judicial consensus on how to resolve conflicts between intellectual-property rights and free-speech rights.” Indeed, courts have adopted varying approaches to analyzing right of...more

Henley Is Not Taking It Easy

According to music icon Don Henley, intellectual property rights are not a joking matter....more

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