NFL

News & Analysis as of

NFL Gives Up Tax-Exempt Status

Earlier this year, I posted about the possibility that the NFL may lose its tax exempt status. The NFL has decided instead to give up its tax-exempt status. It has been estimated that the tax-exempt status only saved the...more

Institute of Sports Law and Ethics, Co-Founded by Manatt’s Ron Katz, Is Currently Active on Three Fronts: Deflategate, Homophobia...

The Institute of Sports Law and Ethics (ISLE) at Santa Clara University is currently active on three fronts: Deflategate, homophobia and safer soccer. Re Deflategate, Ron Katz, co-founder of ISLE, has been quoted extensively...more

If Only the New England Patriots Had a CCO: Lessons from “Deflategate”

If only the New England Patriots had an Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption program, “Deflategate” might never have entered America’s vocabulary. The long-running saga re-entered the media this past week with the release of the...more

Gimme a W!  Gimme an A!  Gimme a G!  Gimme an E!  What’s that Spell?!? . .

NFL cheerleaders are one of the more recent groups to Bring It On! in the form of wage and hour litigation for the alleged failure of their teams to pay them a minimum wage....more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 156-emergency podcast on Deflategate and the Wells Report [Video]

In the first emergency podcast Jay Rosen and I review (what we know) of the Wells Report into Deflategate. We consider the issues from a FCPA compliance practitioner perspective and what lessons may be learned from the...more

Football and the Future of CEQA for Popular Projects

In quick succession, the Southern California cities of Inglewood and Carson have used the initiative process to approve new NFL football stadiums in bids to lure teams to new homes, bypassing review under the California...more

Court Sacks Photographers’ Antitrust Claims Against the NFL and its Member Teams

Allegations of conspiracy to restrain trade and exclusive dealing may read like textbook antitrust claims, but if the allegations are made by a plaintiff who is not an “efficient enforcer” of the antitrust laws, the complaint...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $23 Billion. The total revenue generated by the additional Medicare tax and the net investment income tax used to pay for the Affordable Care Act. The total exceeds the Joint Committee on Taxation’s 2010...more

NFL At Risk Of Losing Non-Profit Status?

A recent proposal by U.S. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, would eliminate the tax-exemption under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(6) for professional sports...more

IP in the NFL: “I’m Just Here So I Won’t Get Fined,” or Are You?

Just last week, on February 18, 2015, Seattle Seahawks superstar running back Marshawn Lynch (“Lynch”), also known as Beast Mode, filed for a federal trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for...more

Why The Arbitration Award Against Adrian Peterson Was Vacated

A federal judge in Minnesota today vacated the arbitration award that confirmed the NFL’s discipline of Adrian Peterson.  You can read the decision here.  The judge found two separate bases for vacating the award: 1) the...more

Intellectual Property 2014 Year in Review

The year 2014 saw some important developments in the area of intellectual property law. A number of intellectual property-related issues even made national headlines. Who can forget the public debate over the rightful...more

American Needle Settlement to End Nine-Year Litigation

On February 16, American Needle Inc. reached an agreement in principle with the National Football League to settle its claims. A settlement between the parties would mark the end of an antitrust litigation that has been...more

12th Man Down

In the wake of our 49th Super Bowl (er, “The Big Game”), it seems the Seahawks are not only making headlines with their last minute calls, but also with their IP strategies. Over the past couple of years, the Seahawks have...more

Deflategate: Will the NFL Fumble Another Internal Investigation?

Conducting a proper in-house investigation into allegations of misconduct is no simple task – especially at the NFL. Last year, the NFL was reprimanded in the public arena for allegedly mishandling the investigation into...more

For the Redskins, NFL Playoff Season Means. . . Constitutionality Questions?

The NFL playoffs aren’t the only big football news happening this month! The U.S. Department of Justice recently decided to intervene in the Washington Redskins trademark litigation over the constitutionality of certain...more

The NFL’s Super Bowl Trademark Nonsense

It’s that time of year again. Time to tiptoe around and avoid use of or make any reference to the Super Bowl. Whoops. Anyway, we’ve discussed this phenomenon before...more

Don’t Even Think About Advertising a SUPER BOWL Party!

As we all know, Super Bowl XLIX will be played this Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona between the defending Champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. There will be events of all kinds organized all around the country...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

Playing “I-Spy” in the NFL Deflate-Gate Is No Different than the Workplace

Since I am married most of the year to a Football junky, I could not help but be drawn into the recent deflate-gate drama in which the NFL game-day footballs Tom Brady used in the Patriots game to defeat Baltimore, were...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

Advertising Law - January 2015 #2

Safeway Must Pay Customers for Higher Online Prices - A California federal court judge has ruled in a breach of contract suit that Safeway is liable to customers who paid more for items online than in the store. ...more

Davis v. Electronic Arts: Another Right of Publicity Loss for Media Companies

On January 6, 2015, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), maker of Madden NFL video games, lost its appeal to dismiss claims by approximately 6,000 retired professional football players in Michael Davis, et. al v. Electronic Arts,...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle 2014: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Heading into this year’s Super Bowl party season, there are two things every lawyer should be concerned about. First, why can’t your team get it together? Second, what do you do if you are asked to explain to your friends and...more

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