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Art, Entertainment & Sports Constitutional Law Intellectual Property

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Art, Entertainment & Sports issues written by leading professionals.

Does Your Trademark Have Relevant Artistic Expression?

by Newmeyer & Dillion LLP on

Traditionally speaking, we think of a ‘trademark’ protected under the Lanham Act as a mark used to identify and distinguish a good or service from other goods and services on the market. But what if the purported ‘trademark’...more

Cleveland Indians To Discontinue Use Of Chief Wahoo On Player Uniforms; Limited Use Of The Logo To Continue In Order To Preserve...

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Although the Supreme Court recently ruled that disparaging trademarks are protected by the First Amendment freedom of speech in Matal v. Tam, the Cleveland Indians have announced that they will cease use of their “Chief...more

Washington Redskins’ Us Trademark Registrations Reinstated By The Fourth Circuit

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

On January 18, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated the Washington Redskins’ federal trademark registrations originally cancelled by the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board (“TTAB”) in 2014 in...more

Attorneys’ Fee Decision Should put Louis Vuitton in a Good Mood, but will it Gain a Sense of Humor?

by Knobbe Martens on

In December, the Second Circuit ruled that My Other Bag (MOB) was not liable for infringing Louis Vuitton’s trademarks and copyrights because MOB’s bags were a parody of the luxury giant....more

Empire Strikes Back: First Amendment Protects TV Series Title

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing the issue of trademark infringement specific to the title of an expressive work, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s conclusion that Twentieth Century Fox’s use of the name...more

Holy First Amendment Rights, Batman

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In relation to a long-fought and contentious trademark dispute involving the COMIC CON mark, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a brief but definitive opinion, finding that certain district-court-ordered...more

Good News for Game Developers: Court Extends Protections for Using Others’ Trademarks in the Advertising of Artistic Works

by Fenwick & West LLP on

In a move that will likely benefit game developers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit explicitly held that First Amendment protection extends to use of third-party trademarks in the commercial promotion of an...more

Is the Reproduction of a Branded Product in a Depiction of Real Life an Infringement?

AM General LLC, maker of HUMVEE®-branded vehicles, has sued Activision Blizzard, Inc., Activision Publishing, Inc., and Major League Gaming Corp. in the Southern District of New York for using AM General’s trademarks and...more

Supreme Court Corner Q3 2017

by DLA Piper on

MATAL V. TAM - Simon Shiao Tam leads a dance-rock band and sought to trademark the band's name: The Slants. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) upheld the PTO's decision not to register the mark under § 2(a),...more

The Grinch loses and protection of parody wins

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Someone once said make sure your words are sweet as you may have to eat them. In the attached decision, the Judge finds the play "Who’s Holiday" is a parody entitled to fair use. He grants Plaintiffs’ motion for judgment on...more

Claim Is Gone With The Wind At Death

Two time academy award winner Olivia de Havilland seeks an expedited trial for the lawsuit involving her right of publicity. Olivia de Havilland, DBE v. FX Networks, et al, BC667011 (Superior Ct. Calif., June 30, 2017). The...more

A Special Thank You to Suzan Shown Harjo

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the filing of the petition to cancel the R-Word registrations held by Pro-Football, Inc., the NFL franchise playing near the Nation’s capital....more

Gavel to Gavel: Scandalous and immoral (trademarks)

by McAfee & Taft on

Since 1946, federal law has prohibited registration of scandalous, immoral and disparaging trademarks. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court found the prohibition on disparaging trademarks to be unconstitutional, creating...more

The Washington Redskins Win Their Trademark Battle in Overtime

by Garvey Schubert Barer on

Simon Tam of the Asian rock band, The Slants, probably was not envisioning an 8-year-long legal battle when he chose the group’s name. Slant is known as a racial slur for Asians. Tam hoped to strip the term of its derogatory...more

Ninth Circuit Construes Family Movie Act and Affirms Injunction Against Streaming Service

by Snell & Wilmer on

In December 2016, a California federal court issued a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, Inc.’s custom-filtered video streaming service. Thursday, in Hollywood Studios v. VidAngel, Inc., a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed...more

More Details on Matal v. Tam: Are Other Parts of The Lanham Act at Risk?

by Revision Legal on

As we recently discussed in June, the US Supreme Court declared the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act unconstitutional as a violation of the free speech clause of the First Amendment. In general, the disparagement clause...more


by BakerHostetler on

“Iron Mike” Tyson is a controversial sports figure who seems in equal parts loved and loathed by the public. Celebrated for a genuine world-class talent and derided for his behavior in and out of the ring, Tyson has a public...more

In Matal V. Tam, Scotus Rules Prohibition On Disparaging Trademarks Unconstitutional

The Asian American members of the band the Slants adopted that name to “reclaim” and “take ownership” of the derogatory term. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) refused to register a trademark application...more

Ninth Circuit Purges Anti-SLAPP Motion for Contract Claims

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an action involving the popular film series The Purge, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court denial of the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion, holding that the plaintiff’s breach of...more

“Not So Fast,” Mr. THRILLED Daniel Snyder

Lee Corso (former coach and ESPN football analyst) frequently utters this famous sports media catchphrase on ESPN’s “College GameDay” program: “Not so fast, my friend!”...more

What the *TM*?!?! The Disparagement Clause has been Bleeped.

by Knobbe Martens on

Trademark law is an important form of protection for the fashion and beauty industry. It protects both brand owners and consumers by regulating the registration of brands, or source identifiers, of fashion and beauty...more

The First Amendment Protects The Trademark Registrability Of THE SLANTS And THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS Irrespective Of Political...

by Weintraub Tobin on

In 2014, the Washington Redskins lost a battle before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) where the petitioner, a group of Native American activists, sought cancellation of the “Washington Redskins” trademark, which...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - July 2017

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Supreme Court Hits Reset on Patent Venue Law in TC Heartland - In the recent TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC decision, the Supreme Court reversed nearly thirty years of patent venue law and held that a...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2017

SCOTUS: For Patent Venue, Domestic Corporations ‘Reside’ Where Incorporated - Why it matters: On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC—rejecting...more

Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last month, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that struck down a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act....more

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