News & Analysis as of

Advertising Law - November 2015 #4

Sharing Is Caring? New Report Documents Apps Sharing User Data at High Rates - A new report has revealed that Apple and Android apps share information with third parties at high rates. Testing 55 of the most popular...more

Parody Writers Take Note: Fair Use Parody + New Elements = Copyright Protection

On October 30, 2015 the Second Circuit held that an unauthorized parody that makes “fair use” of its source material is eligible for copyright protection and that copyright protection may extend to a work that exhibits the...more

Court Provides Fair Use Guidance On YouTuber’s Use of Viral Video

This copyright case pitted two big YouTube content brands against each other over issues of fair use. On one side is Equals Three, LLC, a YouTube content studio and channel created and owned by Ray William Johnson, an early...more

Trademark Review | June 2015

Is PRETZEL CRISPS a Generic Term? Federal Circuit Resets Standard for Genericness - In an earlier precedential decision, the TTAB held there was a dichotomy in the standard for determining whether an applied-for mark...more

TTAB Balks at Parody Argument in Yankees Trademark Case

In honor of Foley Hoag’s new New York office, we here at the Boston office reluctantly present a victory by the New York Yankees — albeit not one won on the baseball diamond. In a trademark opposition that has been...more

Summary of Recent Precedential Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Decisions

In the past two months, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has issued three opinions citable as Board precedent. The following is a brief summary of each opinion and its precedential impact....more

The Juice Runs Out for Yankee Parody Trademarks

A good general business practice is to apply to register trademarks early. You’ll find out if there is an issue. You’ll have time to change rather than having to take everything off the shelf under the threat of a lawsuit....more

The House That Juice Built: TTAB Denies Registration To Parodies

On May 8, 2015, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) issued a resounding blow to trademark applicants who seek to register others’ trademarks as parodies. In New York Yankees Partnership v. IET Products and...more

Imported from “Dertroit”

Readers of the blog know the dangers of selling unlicensed apparel and the oft-litigious stance of Major League Baseball when it comes to defending its marks.  But a recent viral t-shirt phenomenon may just be one time the...more

Parody Or Rip Off?: Don Henley Won’t Take It Easy

Former Eagles drummer and co-lead singer Don Henley has just agreed to settle a lawsuit that he filed against Duluth Trading Co., the clothing retailer best known for its goofy cartoon ads on television. ...more

Adjmi v. DLT Entertainment LTD. - USDC, S.D. New York, March 31, 2015

Adjmi v. DLT Entertainment LTD. - USDC, S.D. New York, March 31, 2015 - In Depth: District court grants declaratory judgment to playwright, holding that play’s dark and “nightmarish” theatrical take on iconic...more

Belgium: Even a world famous painter needs to respect copyrights

The well-known Belgian painter Luc Tuymans has based his painting ‘A Belgian Politician’ on a picture of the Belgian right-wing politician Jean-Marie Dedecker that was made by the professional photographer Katrijn Van Giel,...more

Three’s Company But Two’s a Crowd: Theatrical Parodies of Copyrighted Works

In our Oscar litigation post a few weeks ago, we made a passing reference to MGM v. Showcase Atlanta Coop. Prods., Inc., 479 F.Supp. 351 (N.D. Ga. 1979). In that case, the Northern District Court of Georgia held that the play...more

Bob Latham Speaks: Satire and Democracy

In the past two months, the role of satire in a free society has been front and center, once for tragic reasons and several times for sentimental reasons. The horrifying and outrageous murders at the Charlie Hebdo offices in...more

Cariou v. Prince: A Controversial Redefining of the Distinction between Parody and Satire

The controversy that swirled around the 2013 Cariou v. Prince decision was once again ignited with the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC – a decision that, fairly or unfairly, took direct...more

Crafting an Effective Fair Use Defense

The beer industry is rife with trademark legal issues. We’ve discussed quite a fe here, including disputes over brewery names, attempts to register as a trademark the design of a beer glass, or the longstanding issue of...more

CJEU clarifies scope of exception for parody: not just joking around

Under Belgian law, a copyrighted work may be used without the authorisation of the author(s) for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche. In the absence of any clear guidance on the interpretation of the concept of...more

(Subway) Eat Flesh, An Effective Parody?

This past weekend one of my sons said, “Dad, I have a good blog topic for you.” After he explained, it was clear, yes, son you do! So, he sent me the photo to the left. It is one that he recently snapped at a place that sells...more

Still laughing? The CJEU hands down final judgment in Deckmyn parody case

Following on from the Advocate General’s opinion in the case of Johan Deckmyn [C-201/13], the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its full judgment in the case on 3rd September 2014. The ruling confirms...more

What’s in a joke? Advocate General opinion finds parody to be an autonomous concept of EU law

Advocate General Cruz Villalon released his eagerly awaited opinion on 22 May 2014, in the case of Johan Deckmyn [C-201/13]. The opinion confirms that “parody” is an autonomous concept of EU law and that to qualify as a...more

The Art of Parodying a Global Mega-Brand

In February 2014, comedian Nathan Fielder orchestrated an ambitious publicity stunt – he crudely poked fun at global mega-brand Starbucks. His elaborate prank could have been a costly one. Fielder treated a long queue of...more

You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Fair Use

If you’ve got a Facebook account, the following video has probably made an appearance or two (or twenty) in your status feed last month...more

Pun Marks Are Fun Marks! Then Why Is Chewy Vuiton OK, But Not Ben & Cherry’s?

Last year a California porn studio, Caballero Video, paid dubious homage to Ben & Jerry’s® (“B&J”) when it launched a “Ben & Cherry’s” film series. Even the less explicit titles in the series, such as BOSTON CREAM THIGH...more

Thankful I Didn’t Copy Images, Parody The Beastie Boys, Use Overbearing TOS Or Have To Stand Behind TheDirty

With the short Thanksgiving week, I thought we would touch on a few interesting stories developing over the last couple of weeks. Photographer gets $1 million+ verdict from AFP and Getty for copied Twitpics - In...more

Goldieblox, Inc. v. Island Def Jam Music Group, et al.

Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief

An action for declaratory and injunctive relief to establish the rights of a toy company, GoldieBlox, in connection with a parody video set to the tune of the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls.”...more

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