Category Archives: Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Trademark

Is Selling Cubs Merchandise a Crime?

Stealing bases may be a routine part of baseball, but the Chicago Cubs have made it clear that street vendors stealing merchandise have no part in America’s pastime. On September 22, 2016, Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs sued vendors for selling counterfeit merchandise on the streets outside of Wrigley Field. This has been an uplifting season for the Cubs as they are in first place, standing as the top team in all of Major League Baseball. The club’s claim that vendors are “deliberately…

Continue Reading....

Under Armour in a TM Dogfight with Puppy Armour

Sports apparel giant, Under Armour (UA), is unhappy with the “Armour marks” on Puppy Armour’s canine clothing. Under Amour is suing S&O Innovations LLC and Silvo Schillen of “slavishly” misappropriating and copying its name and font. The athletic gear maker filed its petition in a Florida federal court, arguing that the dog products are styled to look similar to UA. S&O sells various kinds of dog T-shirts for different breeds. In its complaint, Under Armour argues that the T-shirts are the same color, with…

Continue Reading....

“Let’s Get it On” at the Heart of Ed Sheeran’s Hit Song?

Ed Sheeran is facing yet another copyright suit. This time, the heirs of Ed Townsend are claiming that the famous song “Thinking Out Loud” sounded too much like “Let’s Get It On” — co-written by Ed Townsend and sang by Marvin Gaye. The heirs assert that “the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic composition in ‘Thinking’ are not the product of independent creation,” suing the singer, record labels, promoters and everybody associated with “Thinking Out Loud.” The plaintiffs claim that the pop singer “copied the ‘heart’ of…

Continue Reading....

Do Monkeys Have the Same Copyright Interests as Humans?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is not backing down in its fight for copyrights for monkeys. This fight began about five years ago when a photographer, David Slater, was in Indonesia taking pictures of monkeys when Naruto, a now famous monkey, grabbed his camera to snap a selfie. Since then, Naruto’s renowned “Monkey Selfie” has appeared on websites and in a book. PETA sued Slater arguing that Naruto has the same rights in his photograph as any human would have in their…

Continue Reading....

No Bed of Roses for Trump: Queen Revokes Rights to Signature Anthem

Donald Trump received the Republican Party’s nomination, but it has been no pleasure cruise since then. At Donald Trump, Jr.’s casting of the votes for the New York delegation, Donald Trump received the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. The next day, Trump accepted the nomination with Queen’s “We Are the Champions” heralding in the background. Shortly after, Queen took to twitter, declaring the song’s usage “an unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes.” The band pulled Trump’s rights to play the…

Continue Reading....

Late Night Host Stephen Colbert Dances Around IP Issue Over His Own Exaggerated Persona

CBS’s “The Late Show” opted to go live at the conclusion of each day of the Republican National Convention two weeks ago to better respond to the fodder the RNC provides. During one of the shows, host Stephen Colbert brought back his beloved fictional “Colbert” character from his immensely popular “The Colbert Report.” The character was retired after the show ended on Comedy Central and hasn’t been seen for more than a year as the real Stephen Colbert forged his own identity. However, it appears…

Continue Reading....

Redskins: Trademark Cancellation Worse than Initial Denial

The Washington Redskins are entangled in a trademark battle over its name and is urging the Supreme Court to hear its case. The football team disagrees about the offensiveness of the name and contests the constitutionality of Section 2 (a) of the Lanham Act which bans trademarks that are “disparaging.” Under the act, the government cancelled the Redskins trademarks after 23 years. The Lanham Act was also the basis for the government’s refusal to register the trademark of the Asian-American rock band the “Slants.” However,…

Continue Reading....

Trademark Fight Over Kardashians Cosmetics Line

Following the Kardashians Intellectual Property suit that accused Hillair Capital Investments LLC and its subsidiary, Haven Beauty Inc., of trademark infringements, Haven in turn is now suing the Kardashian sisters for failing to promote the cosmetic line as was agreed. According to court papers, Hillair was awarded the assets of Boldface Licensing + Branding Inc., the Kardashian’s licensing company, after it became insolvent. These assets included a five year license deal to use — subject to approval by the Kardashians — their trademarks in connection…

Continue Reading....

Music Company Wants Attorneys’ Fees and Costs Following Led Zeppelin Victory

On Thursday, July 7, 2016, Warner/Chappell Music Inc., the publishing company who was named as a co-defendant in the “Stairway to Heaven” copyright lawsuit that wrapped up last month, filed a motion to recover nearly $800,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs in California federal court. The fee request comes on the heels of a successful defense for the music company and mega-hit British rock band, where a jury concluded that frontmen Jimmy Page and Robert Plant had not infringed on any copyright in writing their…

Continue Reading....

Federal Government Urges Against SCOTUS Review in Redskins Case

The federal government is urging against the Washington Redskins’ request for their high profile trademark case, Pro Football Inc. v. Blackhorse, to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court before a ruling by a federal appeals court. The government claims the Redskins have no justification for the move, as the Supreme Court rarely grants certiorari in a case that has not been heard first by a federal appeals court. The Redskins are claiming the timing is perfect for their case to move to the…

Continue Reading....