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

Celebrities, personality rights and privacy: what marketers need to know about permission

by Smart & Biggar on

William Shatner made headlines in November when he took to Twitter to express his displeasure that his name and likeness were used without his permission to promote a condo development in Hamilton, Ontario. The development in...more

Sail On: Former Commodores Guitarist Fails to Establish Rights in Band's Trademark

Who owns a band’s trademark when that band is composed of multiple people? And more importantly, what rights does a band member have in that trademark when they leave the band? Earlier this week, the Eleventh Circuit...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Winter 2018

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Crowdsourced Content in Video Games: How Ownership Issues Almost “Ganked” a Copyright Case - In Blizzard Entertainment v. Lilith Games (Shanghai) Company, a federal court denied a motion for partial summary judgment for...more

China: Annual online piracy crackdown campaign 2017: Results announced

by Hogan Lovells on

The results of the 2017 edition of China’s annual online piracy crackdown campaign, called the “Sword Net Action” (????), were recently published. As we announced earlier, the 2017 crackdown campaign promised to take a heavy...more

The Curious Case of Comic Con; Or is it Comic-Con?

by Workman Nydegger on

On Friday, December 8, 2017, a jury in San Diego, California found that Salt Lake Comic Con infringed the trademark of San Diego Comic-Con. The jury found, however, that the infringement was not willful and therefore awarded...more

Intellectual Property Basics

by Jackson Walker on

This handout provides an entry level discussion of intellectual property and sets out IP action steps. TABLE OF CONTENTS - Introduction - Trademarks - Copyrights - Patents - Trade Secrets - Keep Attorneys From...more

Dr. Dre Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Andre Romelle Young, a.k.a Dr. Dre, was awarded partial summary judgement after a Kentucky federal judge found the hip-hop mogul and NWA member not liable for copyright infringement of plaintiff’s sound recording. ...more

Three Point Shot - December 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Showdown over Mayweather – McGregor Streaming Glitches Knocked out of District Court - All boxing fan Victor Mallh ("Mallh" or "Plaintiff") wanted for the holidays this year was a chance to stand toe-to-toe with...more

No Liability for Self-Publishing Platforms over Author’s Use of Unauthorized Cover Photo

In a brief, unpublished opinion, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of right of publicity and privacy claims against a host of self-publishing platforms and service providers for distributing an erotic (and purported...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not-So-Golden Oldies - Florida’s Top Court Denies Turtles' pre-1972 Copyright Claim

In a unanimous October 26, 2017, decision, the Supreme Court of Florida concluded that Florida common law does not recognize an exclusive right of public performance in pre-1972 sound recordings. Thus, members of the band,...more

The Southern District of New York Finds “Work Made For Hire” Under Italian Copyright Law

Musical scores incorporated into films are usually produced with the specific film in mind. In the U.S., we call such works “works made for hire,” meaning that the artist does not retain authorship rights to the music....more

Former Rutgers Player Sues Alma Mater Over Nickname

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

Moving along from Steve’s post on our alma mater of the University of Iowa, a former Rutgers football player has a more negative view of his former school. A few years ago, the Rutgers football program started allowing...more

No Fairytale Ending for Unauthorized Movie Streaming

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction against an online video streaming service, finding that the movie studio plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits for violations under the...more

Sorry, Will – I AM Refused Registrations

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a refusal to register the mark I AM for various goods based on a likelihood of confusion with registered marks, concluding that the pseudo applicant’s trade moniker was...more

Utility Patents in Fashion Design? Nike & Huzu Innovate The Way

by Knobbe Martens on

Edited by Catherine Holland   What is a Utility Patent? Utility patents cover a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter.  Design patents are much more common in the fashion industry since design...more

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