Merchandising Rights

News & Analysis as of

Fourth Age Limited v. Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, October 28, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s holding that Warner Bros. can assert counterclaims against estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in action over right to make digital merchandise based on Tolkien’s books, as counterclaims were...more

NCAA Dodges Judicial Bullet in Federal Case Challenging Amateurism Rules

As a lifelong Boise State University fan, and gamer who pre-ordered the EA Sports NCAA Football 2008 game (with Jared Zabransky on the cover), I was probably more excited than your average legal beagle to read last week’s...more

DC Comics v. Towle d/b/a Garage Gotham - USCA, Ninth Circuit, September 23, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms that Batmobile is “character” entitled to copyright protection. In May 2011, DC Comics sued Towle in a California federal district court, alleging, among other things, causes of action for copyright...more

Will PE Start to Play in the Premier League?

English Premier League football clubs may start to look more attractive for investment following the League’s £5.14 billion live broadcasting deal with Sky and BT. The deal, for three years from the 2016-17 season, marks a...more

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in O’Bannon v. NCAA

On March 17, 2015, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Chief Judge Sidley R. Thomas, Circuit Judge Jay S. Bybee and Senior U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist, of the Western District of Michigan heard oral argument in...more

Good(s) Intentions – What's Enough to Establish Bona Fide Intent to Use?

When used effectively, brand and merchandise licensing can increase the value of a brand by extending it into new, relevant product categories and by further monetizing brand equity. And when seeking to protect a brand in...more

“Free Sherlock” Litigation Raises Specter of Antitrust Liability for Distributors Cooperating With Intellectual Property Owners

Leslie Klinger, noted Sherlock Holmes scholar and lawyer, has waged a nearly all-out legal offensive against the Estate of Arthur Conan Doyle over the Estate’s assertion of a copyright in connection with certain works...more

SHARKNADO Trademark: Toothless Wonder?

In case you missed SHARKNADO last year, fear not, the sequel SHARKNADO 2 — The Second One, is taking the country by storm, and it is reportedly even better than the first SHARKNADO film. Not having seen either, I’m not sure...more

Duffey v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

Duffey v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. - USDC S.D.N.Y., March 27, 2014 - District court dismisses false endorsement and breach of contract suit brought by actor in film Office Space, finding that actor had...more

How Many Pieces Of Flair Do You Have? Obtaining Merchandising Rights From Actors

A recent decision from the US federal courts offers a timely reminder of the importance for producers of specifically spelling out that they are obtaining “merchandising” rights from all actors performing in their film or TV...more

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