Right of Publicity Trademarks

News & Analysis as of

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

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

2017 Intellectual Property Law Year In Review

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

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

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

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

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

Some Like It Infringed? Monroe Estate Continues Intellectual Property Battles Despite Lack of Publicity Rights

On Wednesday, November 9, 2016 the estate of Marilyn Monroe filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against Fashion Central. The Monroe Estate claims that Fashion Central infringes its intellectual property...more

Legal Concerns for Social Media Influencers: Intellectual Property

Social media “influencers” – individuals who are powerful, popular and relevant enough to influence others within their online social sphere – generate ad dollars, product endorsement opportunities and other revenue streams...more

Augmented Reality

If you haven’t heard about newest gaming craze yet, it’s based on what is called “augmented reality” (AR) and it could potentially impinge on your home life and workplace as such games allow users to “photograph” imaginary...more

Retail and Consumer Products Law Roundup - January 2016

Eye on the Courts: IP Cases for Retailers to Note - Why it matters - Retail companies have closely monitored a series of cases from the U.S. Supreme Court on down, which have focused on IP matters covering induced...more

Celebrity Trademark Watch: Who Owns Marilyn Monroe’s Image? – Right of Publicity vs. Trademark Rights

In her posthumously published autobiography, My Story, screen legend Marilyn Monroe wrote: “I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful but because I had never belonged to...more

Using “Borrowed” Images in Your Blog

An engaging image, be it a photograph, line art or other graphic, can capture the reader’s attention and drive interest in an online post. Bloggers, especially, are well aware of the attention grabbing benefits of a great...more

To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Social Media and Intellectual Property Issues

Social media platforms are very useful, but they also create legal issues. Without question, social media has changed the way businesses communicate with their clients and consumers. Likewise, social media has changed the way...more

Fifty-eight Problems and Trademarks Are Just One: Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kanye, Pharrell and Rihanna Sue Fashion Retailer

It’s become a hard-knock life for ElevenParis, a French fashion retailer with stores in the U.S. After selling t-shirts and other merchandise with these not-so-subtle designs...more

Aretha Franklin Is Looking For A Little Respect From Telluride And Toronto Film Festivals

On September 4, 2015, a long running legal battle over the right to use footage from a 1972 concert by Aretha Franklin took a twist right out of a Hollywood movie when the Queen of Soul sought, and was granted, a temporary...more

Can a Google Search Save Your Company $5 Million?

It sounds like a scam, but I swear, there is some truth to this headline. Just ask Hasbro, Inc., the owner of the Littlest Pet Shop line of toy animal figurines. If you have never seen one before, below is an example of two...more

Rights in Bob Marley's name and likeness trump free speech where defence not properly pleaded | World Trademark Review

Fifty-Six Hope Road is a company run by some of Bob Marley's children, and it owns the property rights to Bob Marley's name, voice and likeness. Hope Road licensed Zion Rootswear the exclusive right to use Marley's name and...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

Trademark Review | March 2015

Registration Cancelled Where Services Related to Mark Not Provided - Playdom, Inc. filed a petition to cancel Couture’s mark, arguing that the registration was void because Couture did not use the mark in commerce as of...more

Henley Is Not Taking It Easy

According to music icon Don Henley, intellectual property rights are not a joking matter....more

MarkIt to Market - April 2014

The April issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter contains a cautionary tale regarding use of social media, a clarified test for false advertising standing, updates to Canada's Trade-marks Act, and an updated...more

Family of Jack Gibson, founder of the National Association of Radio Announcers for Black Radio DJs, enforces famous mark “Jack the...

Judge Thrash issued a ruling granting in part and denying in part the motion for summary judgment of plaintiffs (Jill Gibson Bell, et. al., hereinafter “Gibson Family”) against Billy Darren Foster (“Foster”) for trade mark...more

Where Everybody Knows Your Name(s)

Who would you expect to find sitting at the end of the bar in this recently re-named Minneapolis sports bar, formerly known as Halek’s Bar? What if you were to queue a very familiar tune to these lyrics, would that...more

The Trademark "Twist"

Judge Alsup out of the Northern District of California recently issued a decision relating to HP's App Catalogue's (its online store) sale of an app called "Chubby Checker," an app that estimates the size of a male's anatomy...more

Evolving Case Law on the Fair Use of Famous Trademarks in Video Games

A recent spate of cases has generally upheld, on First Amendment grounds, a developer’s right to include unlicensed trademarks in video games. However, until the body of case law becomes so prevalent that trademark owners...more

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