Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

Stan “The Man” Lee Victorious Once Again

On July 9, 2012, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson for the Central District of California dismissed a suit brought against Stan Lee and his production companies, which sought various ownership rights and profits stemming from the use of iconic characters such as Spiderman and the X-Men.  Marvel Entertainment, Inc. currently owns the rights. Counsel for Lee claims that the suit was barred under the legal doctrine of res judicata – similar claims had been filed and dismissed in New York federal court back in April…

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Federal Judge Cuts Down Actress’s Claims in Suit Against Amazon, IMDb for Posting Her Age Online

U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman released an order on July 2, 2012 granting a joint motion by IMDb.com Inc. and parent company Amazon.com Inc. to dismiss actress Junie Hoang’s claims that IMDb’s and Amazon’s privacy notices were fraudulent. 40-year old Hoang brought a breach of contract and privacy suit against IMDb and Amazon in October for finding and publishing her true age online. Hoang claimed that after she signed up for an IMDbPro account, her legal date of birth was added to her public…

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Cold Hearted Snake: Former American Idol Contestant Files Libel Suit Against MTV and Viacom

Former American Idol contestant Corey Clark filed a libel lawsuit on Thursday, July 6 in the Middle District of Tennessee against MTV Networks Enterprises Inc. and its parent company Viacom International Inc., claiming that he was repeatedly defamed by an MTV news reporter. Clark was a contestant on season two of the popular televised singing competition American Idol.  He was disqualified in 2003 after Idol officials learned that Clark had failed to disclose that he had been arrested in Topeka, Kansas, and that he…

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Complicated: Rihanna Takes Former Accountants to Court for Mismanagment

R&B singer Rihanna (Robyn Fenty) filed a complaint against her former accountants. Berdon LLP, in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York on Thursday, July 5, alleging that the accountants had intentionally kept her in the dark on her financial situation, resulting in millions of dollars in losses and exorbitant commissions paid. Rihanna hired Berdon in 2005, when she was 16 and just beginning her musical career. She entrusted the firm with providing her accounting, business, and financial management services. Under…

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MGM Sues LaMotta and Production Company to Stop Sequel to Raging Bull

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. (MGM) filed a complaint in California on Tuesday, July 3 aimed at stopping the production on a sequel to the 1980 film Raging Bull. MGM claims that boxing icon Jake LaMotta was contractually obligated to offer MGM the movie rights to the book that is the basis of the new film. The suit is against LaMotta as well as producing company RB Production II LLC (RB II). MGM states that “upon information and belief, RBII is nearing completion of principal photography…

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Boom – Trademark Infringement Case Against Nike Survives, For Now

On July 3, 2012, Ohio federal Magistrate Judge Nancy A. Vecchiarelli recommended that part of a trademark infringement case against Nike, Inc. survive a motion to dismiss in a trademark infringement suit brough by Edward W. Tovey.  Mr. Tovey claims that Nike infringed on a line of sports clothing he allegedly developed with LeBron James’ girlfriend in 2009.  In a recommendation to the district court, Judge Vecchiarelli stated that, contrary to Nike’s assertions, Tovey’s federal trademark infringement and unfair competition claims (as well as some…

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Players Sue NFL Over Bountygate Bans

With the concussion related class action lawsuit consolidated and ongoing, the NFL was called back into Federal court in Louisiana this week on an unrelated matter.  On July 5, 2012, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) sued the NFL over the suspension of several players for their alleged participation a bounty program, a scheme funded by players and coaches that offered monetary rewards for players who injured opponents.  Three players from the New Orleans Saints – Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, and Will Smith – were suspended…

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Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Home Entertainment Sue Horse-Racing Announcer’s Estate Seeking Declaratory Judgment on Right of Privacy/Copyright Claims Over Secretariat

Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Home Entertainment filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Friday, June 29, requesting declaratory judgment against family members of the late horse-racing announcer Charles Anderson. The companies are seeking to pro-actively guard against the estate’s right of publicity and copyright claims related to the 2010 film Secretariat. According to the complaint, Anderson’s widow, daughters, and sons have spent the past two years asserting multiple bases of liability for…

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Olympic Competitors Facing Hi-Tech Drug Tests and Sedative Bans

Olympic competitors who plan to run the risk of taking performance-enhancing substances before or during the London Summer Olympics are facing “the most sophisticated anti-doping operation in the history of the Games.” A private sponsor will be aiding in the drug testing this year—a first in Olympics history—by providing facilities for scientists to conduct the testing. More than 6,250 samples of blood and urine will be tested (as compared to 4,500 samples tested inBeijing), with approximately 150 scientists running tests around the clock. The list…

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Concussion Study Suggests Dangers Associated with Certain High School Sports

The American Journal of Sports Medicine recently published a new study on the epidemiology of concussions amongst high school athletes by comparing the rates and patterns of concussions across 20 sports.[1]  After analyzing athlete exposures and injury data collected from a large, nationally disperse selection of U.S. high schools (between 2008 and 2010), the study found that the majority of concussions suffered (47 percent) resulted from participation in football.  The next highest percentage of recorded concussions resulted from girls’ soccer (8.2 percent), followed by…

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