NFL

News & Analysis as of

Labor and Employment News: Deflategate: Limited Ability to Appeal Arbitration Awards

Nearly all collective bargaining agreements have an arbitration clause for deciding any disputes under the agreement. Beyond the labor arena, employers have increasingly mandated arbitration as the designated forum for...more

What Tom Brady, Underinflated Footballs, and “Deflategate” Teach Employers About Arbitration

Fans of unscrupulous professional football players and coaches often justify their heroes’ misbehavior with a now-classic sports adage: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.” In the 1970s, for example, legendary Oakland...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The March To The Supreme Court

This week saw developments in the two cases challenging the application of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act to their registration: In re Tam and Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc....more

Tom Brady’s suspension reinstated, so what are the potential Massachusetts tax consequences?

Deflategate and the NFL’s suspension of quarterback Tom Brady for 4 games has been the NFL’s biggest news story of the past two years. On April 25, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in...more

Unvacating Arbitration Awards: Quarterbacks and Car Accidents

The Second Circuit reminded us yesterday that judicial review of arbitration awards is “among the most deferential in the law.” And when district courts are not sufficiently deferential, their decisions are likely to be...more

Deflate-Gate: Second Circuit Reinstates NFL’s Four Game Suspension of Tom Brady

That loud, horrible sound you may have heard this morning was New England Patriot fans gnashing their collective teeth. This morning the Second Circuit reinstated the NFL’s four game suspension of Patriot quarterback Tom...more

Deflategate for Labor Lawyers Revisited: 2nd Circuit Reinstates Brady Suspension and Reaffirms Judicial Deference to Arbitration

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reinstated the four game suspension imposed by the NFL on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his role in the infamous “Deflategate” scandal. This...more

The Right of Publicity: How Much Control Do NFL Players Have Over Their Names?

How much control should athletes have over their names? Not an unlimited amount, according to one recent court ruling. Late last month, in Dryer v. National Football League, the Eighth Circuit denied an appeal by three...more

Linebacker Vs. Teddy Bear

Former NFL player Shawne Merriman’s company sued the Vermont Teddy Bear Company over the trademark “Lights Out” last week....more

NFL Players’ Right of Publicity Claims Denied - J. F. Dryer et al. v. The National Football League

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a district court summary judgment in favor of defendants, denying plaintiffs’ publicity rights claims in footage and interviews made by the defendants and finding that...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: FLANAX, Fishing Tackle, Football Players and More

Summaries of Recent Precedential and Informative Appellate Opinions - Trademark Opinions - Owners of Foreign Marks May Sue Under Lanham Act Without Using Marks in the US: Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG,...more

Denial by Jerry Jones: Link between CTE and Professional Football

An all too familiar campaign of denial. It seems like every week a different retired football player from the National Football League publically reveals their private struggles with post-football related health issues,...more

Did NFL adopt Big Tobacco’s smokescreen ploy to deny concussion harms?

The National Football League may have taken a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook, and played fast and loose with data used in “scientific studies” to downplay players’ risks from concussions, a New York Times investigation...more

Sports industry, untapped area for drone use, sure to expand

Many industries are starting to explore a new area for drone operations – the sports industry. Slowly, but surely, the use of drones for live sports coverage is expanding. In 2014, drones were used to film skiing and...more

U.S. Supreme Court Punts on Dispute Involving NFL Players’ Publicity Rights

The Supreme Court passed on an opportunity to review a recent appellate court decision holding that a video game publisher is not protected by the First Amendment for using the likenesses of former NFL football stars in the...more

Georgia Weekly Legislative Update - March 2016 #2

In a surprise vote last week, the Georgia legislature rushed through the approval of a contentious religious liberty proposal intended to grant safe legal harbor to opponents of marriage equality....more

Advertising Law - March 2016 #2

SPECIAL FOCUS: Lord & Taylor Settles With FTC for Not Disclosing Native Ads - Less than three months after the Federal Trade Commission issued its December 2015 Policy Statement and Business Guide on native advertising...more

Intellectual Property and Technology: Players’ Hail Mary Pass Incomplete: Copyright Trumps Right of Publicity in NFL Dispute...

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit stopped three former NFL players at the goal line when it rejected the players’ appeal in their likeness lawsuit against the NFL. The three former players,...more

Former NFL Players’ Right of Publicity Claims Get Sidelined—Will We Hear From The Replay Officials?   

In Dryer v. The National Football League, three former gridiron gladiators who played in the NFL had their claims for right of publicity under state law tossed out by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. These three players...more

Eighth Circuit Tells Former NFL Players: Your Right Of Publicity Claims Are Preempted By The Copyright Act

The Eighth Circuit recently rejected three former NFL players’ appeal of a district court’s dismissal of their right of publicity claims, among other claims. John Frederick Dryer, Elvin Lamont Bethea, and Edward Alvin White...more

8th Circuit Finds Copyright Act Preempts State Right Of Publicity Of Professional Athletes

In a recent case, Dryer v. Nat’l Football League, No. 14-3428, 2016 WL 761178 (8th Cir. Feb. 26, 2016), former National Football League (“NFL”) players (the “Players”) sued the NFL over the use of their name, image, voice,...more

Dryer v. The National Football League (USCA, Eighth Circuit, February 26, 2016 )

In action involving films produced by NFL containing historical game footage, Eighth Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of NFL, holding that former players’ right of publicity claims are pre-empted by Copyright Act,...more

Trademark and Copyright Law News - March 2016

This edition of Trademark and Copyright Law News is all about big ticket entertainment, sports and fashion events. We've kept busy this winter tracking the intellectual property disputes related to the Oscars, Super Bowl,...more

Litigation Alert: 8th Circuit Clarifies Reach of Copyright Act in Preempting Right of Publicity Claims

8th Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of NFL on former NFL players’ right of publicity claim, finding the claim to be preempted by the Copyright Act. Courts around the country have long struggled to define and...more

Protecting Young Athletes from Head Injuries

The National Football League (NFL) recently announced that the number of diagnosed concussions increased by almost 32 percent this past season. This comes as a surprise after the previous two years showed a decrease in...more

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