David Throwing Jabs at Two Goliaths to Keep the Business

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Following a couple of left jabs  by some owners of Wrigley Field rooftop clubs at the city of Chicago, another group of rooftop business owners threw a right jab at the Cubs and team chairman Tom Ricketts. According to the filing, the owners alleged the team blamed the rooftop businesses for a drop in Cubs ticket sales and suggested a price-fixing scheme.  When the business owners declined the suggestion, the Cubs threatened to block their views with six advertising signs, including a video board in left field.  The filing also alleged as the other suit claimed that the team is in violation of the terms of the revenue-sharing contract with the rooftop owners since the contract allowed a non-exclusive license to sell tickets to see Cubs games. “Although the rooftop ...
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Middleweight Champion’s Unraveling “Taylor” Made for an Evaluation of Boxing’s Legal Vagaries

Jermain-Taylor-Kelly-Pavlick12 This past week, 2000 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist and two-time middleweight champion Jermain (Bad Intentions) Taylor, who was once expected to usher in a new era in the middleweight division following back-to-back decision wins over long-reigning champion Bernard (The Executioner) Hopkins, was arrested for the second time in six months on gun-related charges.  In late August 2014, Taylor was arrested in connection with shooting his cousin and subsequently indicted on related felony charges.  His second arrest came at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade in his native Arkansas, where he was accused of threatening to shoot a woman’s three children and pointing a gun at her husband after he thought that one of the children almost dropped his championship belt.  In between the two arrests, Taylor, who had suffered ...
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Yet Another Concussion Suit Against WWE

new-WWE1 It has been just over two months since a concussion suit against the WWE was filed last October.  Former World Wrestling Entertainment(“WWE”) wrestlers Vito LoGrasso, a.k.a. Big Vito and Skull Von Krush, and Evan Singleton, a.k.a. Adam Mercer, filed a suit against WWE, alleging WWE ignored signs of brain damages and other injuries while it focused on promoting violence for its business. The court filing said, “Under the guise of providing entertainment, the WWE has, for decades, subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality that it knew, or should have known, caused created latent conditions and long-term irreversible bodily damage, including brain damage.” LoGrasso, who wrestled with the WWE for about 10 years, alleged he suffers migraines, memory loss, depression and deafness.  Singleton, who wrestled from 2012 to 2013, allegedly ...
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Beastie Boys Want to Avoid Pyrrhic Victory, Ask For $2.4 Million from Monster

Beastie-Boys-Top-10-650x373 Over the weekend, the Beastie Boys filed with the SDNY, seeking $2.4 million in legal fees from Monster Energy to pay for their recent copyright infringement litigation. In June, the world-renowned rap group won $1.7 million in a lawsuit against Monster Energy.  The Beasties claimed, and Monster admitted during trial, that the energy drink producer used five of their songs without authorization in an online marketing video.  The $1.7 million awarded, however, is not enough to cover the extensive legal fees that the band accumulated over the two years of litigation, making their win in court a “Pyrrhic victory.” In the filing, the group claims that Monster intentionally delayed the legal process and utilized evasive legal techniques to stall the litigation.  They also claim that Monster failed to engage in ...
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Christie and the Horsemen Ask the Third Circuit to Vacate Injunction & Open the Door to Sports Betting in NJ

Chris-Christie-Gambling On Wednesday, January 14, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie filed a brief with the Third Circuit US Court of Appeals, seeking to overturn the district court decision enjoining recent legislation that would open the door to some sports gambling in New Jersey. The 2014 law in question was passed to effectuate a partial repeal of prior New Jersey law that prohibits betting on sports within the state.  The partial repeal would allow casinos and racetracks within the State of New Jersey to facilitate sports betting.  The NCAA and many professional sports organizations brought this suit seeking an injunction to stop the partial repeal of anti-betting laws.  In November 2014, the US District Court for the District of New Jersey granted the injunction, stating that both the language and congressional intent ...
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9th Circuit Throws Out San Jose’s Antitrust Suit Against MLB

OaklandColiseum In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that San Jose’s antitrust claims against MLB were barred by baseball’s antitrust exemption. After its antitrust suit against MLB in 2013 was dismissed by a trial court, San Jose had appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit early last year to continue its effort to move the Oakland A’s to Silicon Valley. San Jose challenged the 92-year old antitrust exemption of MLB to bring the Oakland Athletics to Silicon Valley pursuant to the 2011 agreement with the team because San Jose is in Santa Clara County which falls under the San Francisco Giants’ territory under MLB’s constitution.  It argued that the territory rules violated federal antitrust laws. The antitrust exemption was established by the ...
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Disney, Sony, DreamWorks Asked Court to Dismiss Anti-Poaching Lawsuit

1023308-disney-dreamworks-sony-slam-class-action-lawsuit Major animation studios filed a motion to dismiss an antitrust suit filed against them by their former employees.  The defendants Disney, Sony, DreamWorks, and Blue Sky argued in the filing that the plaintiff animators brought the suit five years after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2010 began scrutinizing arrangements to freeze wages and not poach employees in the industry.  Moreover, the defendants further claimed the allegations that the studios would collude to suppress wages was “implausible” when the DOJ’s probe began and after companies like Disney had settled related private litigation, according to the filing. The filing further said that “[i]n an effort to manufacture new claims not covered by the High-Tech lawsuits, plaintiffs assert that animation studios, other than High-Tech defendants Pixar and Lucasfilm, also participated in ...
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Universal Sues Companies for Selling Prison Mix Tape “Contraband”

universal-music-group1 On Tuesday, January 6, Universal Music Group turned its eye back toward the fight against music piracy by filing a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Central District of California against companies compiling mix tapes for prisoners. Centric Group and its subsidiary Keefe Group, the named defendants in the suit, are companies that put together “care packages” for prison inmates.  The companies have set up a website through which customers can pay the companies to put together packages for delivery to relatives in jail.  One popular item in those packages is mix tapes containing music from a wide variety of musicians.  Universal’s lawsuit targets those mix tapes that contain recordings by Universal artists. The record producer claims in its lawsuit that the companies are unlawfully distributing music recordings and compositions to ...
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Cubs Accused of Bullying Rooftop Club Owners

wrigley-field-1_C On Thursday, January 8, several rooftop club owners adjacent to the historic Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs, filed another lawsuit against the city of Chicago to block proposed renovations to the stadium. Last July, the Chicago Cubs gained approval of renovations costing $375 million from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to add seven new signs to the ball park’s outfield.  The Cubs then altered the placement and shape of the signs and received approval yet again.  This lawsuit, brought by the rooftop club owners who refused to sell their property to the cubs, alleges that the new plans intentionally block the view of those rooftop clubs and enhances the view of the rooftop clubs that the Cubs were able to acquire.  The Cubs claim the alteration to the ...
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US Gov’t Joins Fight Against “Redskins” Trademark

th-14-300x168 On Friday, January 9, the United States Department of Justice filed a notice of intervention with the Eastern District of Virginia to intervene in the lawsuit between Washington’s football team and the Native American group, who successfully petitioned to have the team’s trademarks revoked. The lawsuit stems from a June ruling by the US Patent & Trademark Office that revoked six of the Washington football team’s trademarks as the term “Redskin” was determined to be disparaging to a substantial amount of Native Americans during the 1967-1990 time period during which the trademarks were granted.  The suit garnered the DOJ’s attention because the football team is claiming that the Lanham Act, under which the trademarks were revoked, is “unconstitutionally vague” and violates the team’s First Amendment right of free speech. The ...
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