Tag Archives: Likeness

Former NFL Players Oppose EA’s Play to Dismiss Madden Suit

On September 1, 2017, a proposed class of former NFL players moved a California Federal Court not to dismiss their suit against Electronic Arts (EA), game maker, for the use of their likenesses in the Madden video games. EA is attempting to remove the remaining five claims of the suit after it was successful in August in dismissing the former NFL players’ claims under a state law statute. EA claimed that the former players’ remaining publicity rights claims are preempted by the Copyright Act. The…

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Are EA’s Visual Representations in Madden Generic Enough to Avoid Liability in Publicity Claim?

In 2010 Michael Davis and other former NFL players filed suit in California, alleging that video game maker Electronic Arts (EA) violated their rights of publicity when it used famous teams from the past in Madden games from 2001 until 2009. In their complaint, the retired players argued that while EA obtained permission from current players to use their names and likeness, the company failed to do so with the retired players. While the former players did not allege that their names actually appeared in…

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PGA Tour Tells Ninth Circuit that Caddies Appeal in Human Billboard Case Does Not Make the Cut

On July 15, 2016, the PGA Tour filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit arguing that the trial court was correct when it dismissed a lawsuit brought by PGA Tour caddies. Previously, a California federal court tossed the proposed class action lawsuit by the caddies claiming that by forcing the caddies to wear bibs of the PGA Tour sponsors they are covering clothing on their chests and treating them like human billboards which is an abuse of power. The Trial court dismissed the suit and…

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Grocer Calls Foul, Argues for Sanctions Against Michael Jordan

On Monday, July 27, Jewel Food Stores Inc. told an Illinois federal judge that Michael Jordan and his attorneys should be sanctioned in his right of publicity suit.  The lawsuit arose when Jordan accused the grocery chain of using his likeness without his permission in an ad featured in Sports Illustrated, and according to Jewel, Jordan has violated the court’s order to stop repeatedly asking for judgment. In its response brief, Jewel argued that Jordan’s opposition to proposed jury instructions violates a court order that…

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EA & CLC No Longer “In the Game” With College Athletes

After a long legal battle with college athletes, Electronic Arts (EA) and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) are calling it quits.  On September 26, 2013, the companies announced that they reached a settlement agreement with the former college athletes.  If the judge approves the settlement, the NCAA will be forced to defend the suits on its own. Four years ago, former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, EA, and CLC focusing on college athletes’ rights and compensation.  O’Bannon sought…

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Judge Orders NFL Retirees to Drop Two Cases

A U.S. District Judge in Minnesota dismissed two new cases relating to the publicity rights of NFL retirees.  On September 6, 2013, the judge said the cases were filed too early and violated the terms of an earlier order. The two cases arose out of unhappiness with a settlement in an earlier case.  In that case, ex-players alleged that the NFL wrongfully used their likenesses in marketing materials.  On April 8, 2013, a settlement was preliminarily approved for the dispute.  According to the settlement, a…

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