NCAA Appeals Fee Bond, Argues Detriment to Mission

On Tuesday, May, 10, 2016, the NCAA appealed to the Ninth Circuit, arguing that it was unnecessary to reserve more than $42 million in attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the appeal in the O’Bannon case. Initially, the judge ordered that the NCAA pay plaintiffs’ attorneys for the college athletes’ name, image, and likeness class action suit a total of $44.4 million in fees and $1.5 million in costs, but the fees were later reduced $40.8 million. The NCAA claims that the players’ attorneys are…
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False Advertising Lawsuit against Ex-Redskins Quarterback Not Quite Over

The plaintiffs representing the class action against former NFL quarterback, Joe Theismann, and NAC Marketing urged the Ninth Circuit to revive their claim that was dismissed for lack of redressability. The plaintiffs argue that the claim should not be dismissed just because the defendants refunded money to the plaintiffs. This suit arose in 2013 when the plaintiffs bought supplements from advertisements featuring the defendants and later discovered the ingredients in the supplements to be ineffective. In February 2014, the suit was dismissed for lack of…
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Game Over: SCOTUS Refuses to Hear Appeal on Sports Video Game First Amendment Issue

On Monday, March 21, 2016, the Supreme Court refused to hear Electronic Arts Inc.’s appeal from a Ninth Circuit ruling that the First Amendment did not protect it from a class action suit brought by retired NFL players. The underlying lawsuit, originally filed in 2010, arises out of the inclusion of “historic teams” in EA’s popular video game “Madden NFL.” Specifically, the suit alleged that EA’s use of “historic teams,” past teams that were particularly popular or famous, impermissibly violated players’ state-law rights of publicity.…
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The Big Leagues: NCAA Requests Extension to Appeal to SCOTUS Over Student-Athlete Compensation

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, the National Collegiate Athletic Association requested a 30-day extension to appeal from a Ninth Circuit ruling which held that the NCAA ban on compensation for the use of student athletes’ images and likenesses violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The litigation began in 2009 when former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and former ASU and University of Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller filed separate lawsuits against the NCAA, Electronic Arts Inc., and Collegiate Licensing Co. The original lawsuits claimed in part that…
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NCAA Athlete Compensation: Ninth Circuit Denies Plaintiffs Request for Rehearing En Banc

On Wednesday, December 16, 2015, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of appeals denied a rehearing request for its prior ruling in O’Bannon v. NCAA — the case involving the issue whether Division I student athletes should be compensated. Ed O’Bannon, the named plaintiff representing student athletes, seemingly won at the trial court level. District Judge Claudia Wilken found the NCAA’s ban on compensating student athletes violates federal antitrust laws. Judge Wilken concluded that “less restrictive” means were available to preserve student athletes’ amateur status. She…
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Pro Athletes File Amicus Brief Supporting NCAA Players’ Likeness Suit

On December 7, 2015 , professional athletes filed an amicus brief in support of a likeness suit brought by two former NCAA basketball players against a media company that sold game-time photographs of the ex-college athletes. Patrick Maloney and Tim Judge — both former members of the Catholic University 2001 NCAA Championship basketball team — initially brought the likeness suit in relation to a deal the NCAA made with media company T3Media in 2012 to host and license the league’s photo library. Through this deal,…
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Pharrell, Thicke, and T.I. Appeal “Blurred Lines” Decision

Earlier this year, a jury awarded the Marvin Gaye family $7.36 million from Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. for copying Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up” when writing their hit song “Blurred Lines.” On Monday, December 7, 2015, Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The copyright infringement suit was commenced in August 2013 in a California federal court by the Estate of Marvin Gaye. The Estate argued that “Blurred Lines” — the most popular song in the world in 2013…
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Nike Files Opening Brief in Ninth Circuit “Jumpman” Appeal

On Friday, November 27, 2015, Nike filed its brief urging the Ninth Circuit to uphold the dismissal of allegations that Nike Inc.’s “Jumpman” logo was an improper reproduction of a picture taken of Michael Jordan by plaintiff photographer. The plaintiff photographer, Jacobus Rentmeester, originally took his photograph of Michael Jordan in 1984, and sold it to LIFE Magazine. At the photo-shoot, he captured one of the most well-known pictures of Jordan. He alleges that Nike paid $150 for the use of the negatives from that…
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2001 NCAA Basketball Champs Appeal 9th Circ. Dismissal of Likeness Suit

In March of this year, U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. dismissed a lawsuit brought by former NCAA basketball players alleging that the licensing of copyrighted photographs violated their right of publicity. Patrick Maloney and Tim Judge — both former members of the Catholic University 2001 NCAA Championship basketball team—initially brought the suit in relation to a deal the NCAA made with T3Media in 2012 to host and license the league’s photo library. Through this deal, the public could purchase non-exclusive licenses to the copyrighted…
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Objector’s Attorneys Continue to Get Pummeled with Motions for Sanctions

On Wednesday October 28, 2015, a group of former-collegiate athletes filed a motion for sanctions against the attorneys representing objecting class members in their own lawsuit. This comes as the latest in a long and well-publicized class action suit brought by the former athletes against the NCAA and Electronic Arts, Inc., for violations relating to the use of their likeness and images in video games. Filed with the Ninth Circuit, this motion for sanctions comes in response to what the plaintiffs believe is nothing more…
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