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Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property General Business

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

Famed NYT Cartoonist Illustrates Winning Argument in Breach of Contract Action

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

For more than seven decades, the Arts sections of the New York Times featured cartoons by the famous artist Al Hirschfeld, whose works were celebrated for their clean crisp lines, as well as the artist’s penchant for...more

Key Considerations in Maximizing a Celebrity Brand

A celebrity should maximize the value of their brand by strategically monetizing every aspect of it. For example, one who becomes famous through the recording industry would consider a career in front of and behind a...more

Supreme Court Rejects Louis Vuitton’s Request for Appeal Against Parody Tote Bag Company

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Louis Vuitton is no stranger to the court. For years, the luxury fashion label, headed by creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, has battled high-profile cases over parody bags. Those cases have involved dog toys, Super Bowl...more

Is It Five O’Clock (or 1700 Hours) Somewhere?

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

You’re probably familiar with the song “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” by Jimmy Buffet and Alan Jackson. It was the number one country single of the year back in 2003. A few years later, Jimmy Buffet submitted several trademark...more

Ninth Circuit: Non-Exclusive Licensing Agent Has No Standing to Sue for Copyright Infringement

by Snell & Wilmer on

In DRK Photo v. McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that an Arizona stock photo agency could not sue McGraw-Hill under the Copyright Act for using images in textbooks without permission. The...more

Former Band Member Sues The Roots

by Brooks Pierce on

Frank “Knuckles” Walker, a musician and percussionist best known as a former member of the band The Roots, recently filed a lawsuit against his former band members and others. A copy of the complaint is available here....more

Three Point Shot - August 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Eastern District Heavyweight Bout Ends in Stunning Trademark Technical Knockout - Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor's late-August 2017 matchup may be the most highly anticipated boxing event in decades. But while "The...more

Catching Counterfeits: Customs Recordation and IP Enforcement

by Knobbe Martens on

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), the primary federal agency responsible for securing America’s borders, is also charged with the protection of intellectual property rights and guarding against the infringement of...more

Update: Court finds transformative nature of alleged infringing work can’t be decided by side-by-side comparison

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Adding an Instagram border and a few “gobbledygook” notations to an original photograph is not transformative as a matter of law. In an update to our post on a case filed last year, a federal court in New York recently denied...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

Fictional, but Protectable: Court Finds Planned Real-World “The Krusty Krab” Restaurant Would Violate Viacom’s Trademark Rights

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Summary Judgment Order, Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments, LLC, S.D. Tex. (January 11, 2017) (Judge Gray Miller) - The Emmy nominations have been announced, and the fall television season is just weeks...more

Music Licensing Basics: How to Legally Use Someone’s Music in Your Business

by Knobbe Martens on

Introduction - •Music copyrights: –Musical works – sheet music and lyrics •Author is generally composer/lyricist and controls •Can be administered through a music publisher - Please see full Presentation below...more

Can’t Say “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” for Copying Me

by Knobbe Martens on

On June 1, 2017, noted music and fashion photographer Danny Clinch filed suit in the Southern District of New York in connection with the use of two photographs of famed rapper Tupac Shukar (“Tupac”) on t-shirts. The...more

An Implied Contract Can Turn You “Inside Out” — Remember the Non-Confidential Disclosure Agreement

Denise Daniels has sued the Walt Disney Company in the Central District of California for breach of an implied-in-fact contract to compensate her for using her ideas in the movie Inside Out. Daniels alleges that she relied...more

Fair use blocks out copyright claim over LeBron’s tattoo

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Courtside questions: Is it fair or foul to show a player’s tattoo in a video game? LeBron James is a talented individual: three-time NBA Champion; 13-time NBA All-Star. And he gave a more than respectable performance playing...more

Music Performing Rights Organizations and the “Full-Work” vs. “Fractional” Licensing Dispute: Government Seeks to Overturn...

by Brooks Pierce on

On Thursday, the United States filed its brief (link is external)in its appeal of a decision by the district court for the Southern District of New York (link is external), which rejected the US Department of Justice’s...more

Navigating the Lifecycle of an Eponymous Brand (Part 2)

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

Star Athletica vs. Varsity Brands: Supreme Court Rules on Copyrightability of Apparel Design

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

The Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. could result in increased opportunity with respect to the applicability of copyright law as it relates to fashion and apparel,...more

Supreme Court endorses copyrightability for fashion and industrial designs

by Dentons on

On March 22, 2017, in a 6-2 decision, the US Supreme Court (the "Court") ruled in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. (Dkt. No. 15-866) that the designs on a cheerleader uniform can be protected by copyright. The...more

Supreme Court Corner: Q1 2017

by DLA Piper on

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands COPYRIGHT – DECIDED: MARCH 22, 2017 HELD: An artistic feature of the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or...more

Intellectual Property and Technology News (North America), Issue 33, Q1 2017

by DLA Piper on

A new year is upon us, bringing swift and deliberate change, uncertainty and myriad paradigm shifts in the political and social landscape. It is fitting, then, that intellectual property practice should reflect these shifts...more

Parrotheads Can Rejoice As Jimmy Buffett Prevails In Trademark Dispute

Jimmy Buffett won a trademark dispute and precluded the applications for “Marijuanaville” marks from registering due to a likelihood of confusion with his famous MARGARITAVILLE® mark for clothing (including shirts and caps),...more

Hip, Hip, Hooray for Copyrightable Decorative Elements

After months of standing on the sidelines of the most closely watched case impacting the fashion industry in recent years, legal practitioners and fashion designers now have a framework for protecting decorative elements of...more

United States Supreme Court Confirms Works of Art Incorporated Into Useful Articles Are Protected Under Copyright Law

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

Copyright law has long provided protection for original works of art. There has been some uncertainty as to whether this protection is extended to artistic features that are incorporated into useful articles, which are not...more

Three Stripes and You’re Out: adidas Seeks to Protect its Mark

by Butler Snow LLP on

On March 17, 2017, athletic apparel giant, adidas, filed suit against Juicy Couture, Inc. asserting trademark infringement and unfair competition claims. The case is styled adidas America Inc. et al. v. Juicy Couture Inc.,...more

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