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Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports

Read Intellectual Property Law updates, alerts, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Dr. Seuss is Drooling Over Court’s Pre-Holiday Ruling

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

You know of this lawsuit, we’ve blogged on it twice, It’s time for a check-in, to see who’s naughty and nice. The Plaintiff as you know is the heir of Dr. Seuss, And fussing and fuming about an alleged unfair use....more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

As widely expected, the Fed affirmed the general strength of the US economy today by raising the benchmark interest rate again today—the 5th raise since the financial crisis....more

Copyright Claim from Out of the Blue

Leslie Weller has sued Gillian Flynn, author of the book Gone Girl and a host of others, for infringing Wellers’s copyright in a novel titled Out of the Blue. What is interesting about this case (aside from the fact that...more

The Legal Pitfalls Inherent in Using “Works Made for Hire” in California

by LeClairRyan on

Labor and employment issues are frequently triggered in the entertainment space, particularly in California. Some of these issues are well-known by practitioners in both areas of practice, while others can be a bit more...more

Copyright Does Not Protect Ideas, Only Expression

On December 6, 2107, Judge Louis Stanton dismissed Randy Brown’s copyright law suit against Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting, Cartoon Network and others, based upon the claim that the television series Black Jesus infringed...more

Has Fox’s “Empire” Ended the Battle? Ninth Circuit Expands Scope of Permissible Promotion of Expressive Works

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

On the day after the airing of “Fortune Be Not Crost,” the sixth episode of season four of Fox’s popular show “Empire,” Fox had some good fortune of its own when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a declaratory...more

After Schiano: Lessons For Athletic Directors from Tennessee’s Coaching Search

The vetting and hiring of a new coach is one of the most critical responsibilities athletic directors face. Athletic directors work to identify coaching candidates that will give the university’s teams an opportunity to win...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

Demi Lovato, Idina Menzel, and Disney Sued Over Frozen Song “Let It Go”

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Demi Lovato, Idina Menzel, and Disney are amongst the defendants who were sued over the hit song, “Let It Go,” featured in the popular 2013 Disney film, Frozen....more

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

Graffiti Artists “Tag” Developer in Court: Graffiti Art Protected Under Visual Artists Rights Act in Advisory Verdict

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Earlier this month, in Cohen et al v. G&M Realty LP et al., a jury impaneled in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York found that a developer violated the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (“VARA”) when...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

When Names become Brand Names

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

Naming things is a fundamentally personal, human act that sometimes – in a profession all about brand names – we take for granted. It’s easy to forget when we are clearing, registering, and protecting names, that at a basic...more

Second Circuit Holds Section 1782 Discovery Is Available For Use In A Foreign Or International Proceeding Even Where Applicant...

by Carlton Fields on

This case arose out of a dispute between Intervenors-Appellants Yves Bouvier and MEI Invest Ltd. (collectively, “Bouvier”) and Petitioners-Appellees Accent Delight International Ltd. and Xitrans Finance Ltd. (collectively,...more

October 2017: Entertainment Litigation

New Frontiers in Fan Fiction? Among the most common trends in modern entertainment are “fan art” and “fan fiction.” From movies like Star Wars, to book series like Harry Potter, to epic television shows like Game of Thrones,...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

Tax Reform: Focus on the Sports Industry

by Proskauer - Tax Talks on

Over the last several days, there have been significant developments relating to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the pending tax reform legislation in Congress. On Thursday, a detailed summary of the Senate Finance Committee’s...more

Jay-Z Pleads Court to Remove Him from the Spotlight

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Jay-Z does not want to be in the spotlight- at least not the spotlight of a New York federal judge. This past April, the hip-hop tycoon and Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment company, were sued by Iconix Brand Group, Inc....more

“The Cosby Show” Producer Demands BBC Foot The Bill For Using Show Clips In Documentary Exposé

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Former American icon Bill Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting at least sixty women over five decades, according to Time Magazine. But the Carsey-Werner Company, which produced Cosby’s hit sitcom “The Cosby Show”,...more

Ka-pow! 9th Circuit Finds Social Media Gag Order Unconstitutional in COMIC CON Trademark Dispute

by Reed Smith on

In a previous post, we analyzed the battle over the trademark COMIC CON, which is owned by the San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC) but has been used by over 100 other comic book convention organizers. SDCC brought suit against...more

He Who Lives by the Suit, Dies by the Suit

CBS Broadcasting Inc. has sued photographer Jon Tannen for posting still images from the Gunsmoke episode “Dooley Surrenders,” first aired on March 8, 1958. Online postings of images from classic television is fairly common,...more

Fleeing The Swarm

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Order Adopting in Part Report and Recommendation, Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims, Denying Motion for Default Judgment, and Denying Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Claims, LHF Productions,...more

Florida Supreme Court Denies Copyright Protection for Sound Recordings Predating Coverage Under the Federal Copyright Act

by Reed Smith on

In a major victory for media and broadcast entities, the Supreme Court of Florida recently established that Florida law does not recognize exclusive copyright protections for sound recordings that were “fixed” before February...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Fall 2017

by Fenwick & West LLP on

In the Winter 2017 edition of the Intellectual Property Bulletin, we reported on IP-related changes expected with the incoming Trump administration and the new Congress. Here we look at two such changes currently underway:...more

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