Blogs

Sweet James is Anything But In Accusing Rival Firm of Brand Theft.

On April 24, 2020, a leading personal injury law firm in Southern California brought a suit against a rival firm based in Beverly Hills for stealing and misusing its registered “Sweet James” trademark online. In the complaint filed with the United States District Court for the Central District of California, plaintiff Sweet James LLP accused…

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No Justice For Filmmaker in Copyright Clash with Apple

In yet another casualty for creative professionals in 2020, on May 28, 2020, United States District Court Judge John F. Walter of the Central District of California dismissed a filmmaker’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Apple and M. Night Shyamalan in connection with the Apple TV+ series, “Servant.” Notwithstanding overwhelming similarities between the two works at…

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Ex-Met Strikes Out in New York Court

On May 29, 2020, New York State Court Judge, Robert D. Kalish, tossed retired professional baseball star Lenny Dykstra’s defamation suit against former teammate, Ron Darling, finding that an unsavory depiction of Dykstra in Darling’s recent book couldn’t further besmirch Dykstra’s “already tarnished reputation.” In July 2019, Dykstra filed and in September 2019, later amended…

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Nike and Footlocker Swept Up in Surf Documentarian’s Lawsuit

Bruce Brown, the distinguished filmmaker known for capturing the sport of surfing, is suing Footlocker and Nike for infringing upon trademarks he holds in connection with his seminal surf documentary, “The Endless Summer.” In a complaint filed on March 17, 2020, in the United District Court of the Central District of California, Bruce Brown Films…

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Free Speech Protects “Call of Duty” Game Makers in Humvee Case

On March 31, 2020 a federal district judge in the Southern District of New York delivered a ruling in favor of Activision Blizzard, holding that automaker AM General cannot sue for trademark infringement for incorporating Humvees into the gameplay of the popular video game, “Call of Duty.” Back in November of 2017, plaintiff AM General…

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The Inside Out of Character Copyrights

On May 4, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied Plaintiff’s petition for rehearing and amended and superseded their March 16, 2020 decision in the case of Daniels v. Walt Disney Co., No. 18-55635, 2020 WL 2119396 (9th Cir. May 4, 2020). Denise Daniels claimed that her characters, The Moodsters, were infringed by…

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The Rights To Your Own Body

On February 1, 2016, Solid Oak Sketches LLC filed a copyright lawsuit in Manhattan against 2K Games, Inc. and Take Two Interactive Software, Inc., the companies responsible for creating the NBA2K video game franchise, for allegedly infringing tattoo artists copyrights in the tattoos they tattooed on LeBron James, Eric Bledsoe, and Kenyon Martin in versions 2K14, 2K15, and 2K16. On…

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Megan Thee Stallion Clears The Hurdle of Arbitration

On April 13, 2020, Harris County District Judge Robert K. Schaffer in Houston ruled in favor of rapper Megan Thee Stallion in a dispute with her record label 1501 Certified Entertainment LLC (“1501”). In a one sentence order, Judge Schaffer denied the Defendants’ request to compel arbitration. Megan Thee Stallion, real name Megan Pete, filed…

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The Aftershock of Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin: The “Dark Horse” case

There is already an extremely slim chance that any copyright infringement case against the Hollywood power structure ever makes it to trial; even if this occurs and you miraculously win your case against the finest lawyers that the entertainment industry can buy, judges can and will exercise their right to overturn your hard-earned verdict. That…

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The Led Zeppelin Decision: A Mixed Bag

The March 9, 2020 decision of the eleven Justices of the en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin is not all bad for creators. Plaintiff Michael Skidmore, the Trustee of the Estate of deceased songwriter, Randy Wolfe, a member of the rock band Spirit, sued Led Zeppelin in 2014, claiming the iconic song Stairway to…

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