News & Analysis as of

Right of Publicity

What Would the Perfect Employee Agreement Look Like?

Lawyers strive for perfection in their work, but time constraints, budgets, and other factors work against us. Also, perfection is not always the same thing in every circumstance. It is interesting, however, to contemplate...more

Lawsuit Attempts to Finish the Job that the Iceberg Started

Stephen Cummings has sued James Cameron for turning his life story into the hit movie Titanic. Mr. Cummings claims that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Jack Dawson “is based solely/wholly/only” on his life. Cummings claims...more

The Kardashians Can’t Keep up with Copyright Law

Khloe Kardashian is the latest Kardashian to find herself in court over her activities on social media. The youngest Kardashian sister was sued by a photographer for copyright infringement in Xposure Photos UK Ltd v Khloe...more

Cleveland Brewery’s Use of His Likeness Not Very Well Liked by Lebron James

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

Yesterday, it was reported by the Bleacher Report that Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star, Lebron James, was displeased with the fact that a brewer located in the Cleveland, Ohio area, Great Lakes Brewing Company may have...more

Navigating the Lifecycle of an Eponymous Brand (Part 3)

In this three-part series, we identified three distinct seasons in the lifecycle of an eponymous brand: (1) Choosing the Brand, (2) Commercializing the Brand, and (3) Legacy of the Brand. In Part 1, we discussed what is at...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2017

by Fenwick & West LLP on

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This. Intellectual Property Tips for the Esports Industry - With the annual Game Developers Conference spectacular in our rearview mirror, and the NBA’s partnership with Take-Two to...more

Advertising Law - April 2017 #3

Amazon, FTC Reach Deal Over In-App Charges - Amazon and the Federal Trade Commission have agreed to drop their appeals in a lawsuit accusing the online retailer of billing consumers for unauthorized in-app charges incurred...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Rules on Copyright Preemption of Right-of-Publicity Claims

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Last week, in Maloney v. T3 Media, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that claims under state right-of-publicity law are preempted by the Copyright Act “when a likeness has been captured in a...more

Brewery and Beer Distributor Sued over Promotional Contest

by Klein Moynihan Turco LLP on

A North Carolina woman has commenced legal action against Anheuser-Busch, LLC (“Anheuser-Busch”) and its North Carolina distributor, R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company (“R.A. Jeffreys”), in connection with Anheuser-Busch’s...more

A “Thriller” in Tax Court: The Estate of Michael Jackson and IRS Dispute Valuation of Pop Star’s Image

by Bowditch & Dewey on

How much were the late King of Pop’s name and image worth when he died? His estate put the figure at $2,105 but the IRS believes the value is at least $434 million. That’s a huge discrepancy and with penalties and interest...more

EU Retail News - February 2017

by Bryan Cave on

When Can You and When Should You Use Your Own Name for Your Brand? It is a common misconception that we are all entitled to create brands under our own names. It is also a misapprehension that it is always a good idea —...more

Sexual Harassment Parody Commercial Held Not To Violate Lanham Act

Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act prohibits false or misleading statements in commerce that are likely to cause confusion as to a person’s affiliation, approval or sponsorship of someone else’s commercial activities. Here’s an...more

The Designer Formerly Known As…Intellectual Property Issues Arising From Personal Names As Fashion Brands

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Kate Spade, Paul Frank, Joseph Abboud, Catherine Malandrino, and Karen Millen—aside from being well-known designers, all have something else in common; they no longer own the right to use their personal names as their brands....more

Advertising Law - February 2017 #2

Uber’s Earnings, Financing Claims Crash Into FTC - For exaggerating claims about earnings potential and automobile financing, Uber has agreed to pay $20 million in a deal with the Federal Trade Commission. According...more

Woman Claims Her Picture is Worth $2 Billion in Right of Publicity Suit

by Bryan Cave on

Could a promotional photograph of a restaurant scene that includes a customer with her hand partially obscuring her face be worth more than $2 billion? That’s what a lawsuit brought by the customer claims....more

2017 Intellectual Property Law Year In Review

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Though politics ruled the headlines in 2016, the year still brought big changes in intellectual property law and its application, most notably in patent subject matter eligibility, inter partes review institution and appeal...more

The 2016 Roundup of Key California Anti-SLAPP Decisions

In 2016, the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued important opinions interpreting California’s anti-SLAPP statute (C.C.P. § 425.16 et seq.), once again broadly construing its application. See...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle III: The Year In NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Two years ago, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those intellectual property lawsuits that sports fans assume IP...more

Live Streaming: The Privacy Concerns of Behind-the-Scenes Access

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC on

A professional football team clinches their playoff spot in an upset game, then hits the locker room for a celebration and an inspirational pep talk from their winning coach. The perfect application for livestreaming, one...more

Using a Person's Image for Commercial Purposes: Lessons Learned from the Chipotle $2.2 Billion Lawsuit

This month, a California woman sued Chipotle for $2.2 billion based on the burrito chain's unauthorized use of her photograph in its promotional materials. The $2.2 billion demand represents Chipotle's profits from 2006, when...more

Face Value: An Allegedly Co-Opted Photograph Turns into a $2.2 Billion Headache for Chipotle

Because celebrities closely guard their names and likenesses, lawsuits claiming high-dollar amounts for violations of those rights are not unusual. But a lawsuit for $2.2 billion dollars for a non-celebrity claiming a...more

The 4-Hour Plaintiff: Author/Speaker/Podcaster Tim Ferriss Secures Default Judgment

by Orrick - NorCal IP Group on

Order Granting In Part And Denying In Part Plaintiffs’ Motion For Default Judgment, Timothy Ferriss, et al. v. Alliance Publishing, Inc., et al., Case No. 15-cv-05675 (Judge Edward M. Chen) - Tim Ferriss is known for...more

Celebrity Brands: The Line Between Fair Use and Infringement

by Jaburg Wilk on

All brand owners are faced with difficult decisions regarding how aggressively to police their brands. The decision is particularly difficult when the unauthorized use is by a loyal customer or fan. While some traditional...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Fall 2016

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Mean Girls v. The Right of Publicity: Lessons Learned From the Lohan and Gravano Lawsuits - On September 1, 2016, a New York appellate court ended two closely watched right of publicity lawsuits brought by Lindsay...more

You Just Used My Picture Without Permission?

by LeClairRyan on

Artist Richard Prince’s exhibit entitled “New Portraits’’ was displayed at New York City’s Gagosian Gallery and Frieze New York during the summer of 2015. This exhibit featured screenshots of other people’s Instagram photos....more

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