Rise and Fall of an Empire (Distribution, Inc.)

In the pilot episode of Fox’s smash-hit series Empire, Cookie Lyon, explaining why, after her release from jail, she’s returning to her husband Lucious Lyon’s fictional record label, Empire Entertainment, says simply: “I’m here to get what’s mine.”  This is, of course, in reference to the formerly-jailed matriarch having taken the rap for Lucious to the tune of 17 years behind bars for drug-running while he built his music “empire.” Coincidentally, it also may sum up the thinking over the last couple of months…
Continue reading...

Creedence Clearwater Mark Revisited

There’s a bad moon on the rise once again for John Fogerty.  Fogerty, the former lead singer and guitarist for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Creedence Clearwater Revival, and a man who holds the distinction as being perhaps the only musician in the history of recorded music to be sued for allegedly plagiarizing his own recording in another one of his own recordings, finds himself feelin’ blue again, having been sued last week by his surviving former bandmates, Doug Clifford and Stu…
Continue reading...

Beastie Boys Trial Against Monster Energy Drinks Begins

In 2012, the Beastie Boys brought suit against Monster Energy Drink, claiming both copyright infringement and unfair competition resulting from Monster’s use of their songs in an online promotional video.  The Beastie Boys are seeking $2 Million in damages. The controversy stems from a promotional video about a snowboarding competition in Canada called “Ruckus in the Rockies,” which is organized and sponsored by Monster.  After the event, Monster posted a video online of the competition and the after-party, including a mash-up mix performed by DJ…
Continue reading...

FX facing mark’s F-X-Xtinction?

The name seemed silly from the moment those commercials started to run. You know them — the ones with the cast members of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia speaking to each other in what sounds, to the naked ear, like Swedish. The ad spots changed as the summer season rolled out on FX, but the punchline of each promo was always the same, with one cast member saying the name of the channel that the great comedy show was moving to. Repeat after Danny DeVito:…
Continue reading...

SiriusXM: “It Ain’t Me Babe”

Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, the principal songwriters and vocalists of 60’s pop group The Turtles, filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of New York, against SiriusXM Radio, Inc., the satellite radio giant, captioned Flo & Eddie Inc., et al. v. SiriusXM Radio, Inc.; and Does 1 through 10, No. 13 CIV 5784, in mid-August. Perhaps signaling the urgency and seriousness of the situation, this past week attorneys from the New York-based law firms Weil, Gotschal and Manges LLP…
Continue reading...

Godzilla vs. Mechahopzilla

Beer Advocate, the Godzilla of beer reviewers, gave Mechahopzilla, the newest IPA entry from the New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA) a score of 89 percent and an overall rating of “very good.” But there was at least one company that was not overjoyed with the summer success of a beer known as Mechahopzilla and, as a result, NOLA appears to have gotten itself in some hop-filled, boiling water. This week, the popular brewer was dragged into federal court, in the Eastern…
Continue reading...

I.AM.INFRINGING?

Blurring the lines (via possible dilution, of course) of who has the right to a trademark incorporating the words “I AM,” early last week Judge Michael Dolinger of the Southern District ordered attorneys to agree to a discovery schedule and move forward with the case I Am Other Entertainment LLC v. William Adams and I.Am.Symbolic, LLC, 13-cv-4547 or, as everyone else knows it, the lawsuit in which Pharrell Williams (Pharrell), writer/rapper/singer/producer and the voice behind some of this summer’s biggest hits (Daft Punk’s “Get…
Continue reading...

USTA Seeks Ruling on Use of US Open Footage in ‘Venus and Serena’ Documentary

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is matching up the documentary “Venus and Serena,” in New York federal court. On Friday, June 14, 2013, the USTA filed suit against Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, the filmmakers behind the documentary that follows the lives of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. The suit alleges that the filmmakers infringed USTA’s exclusive copyrights for the annual U.S. Open tennis competition. The lawsuit contends that the filmmakers were granted limited access to film portions of the 2011 U.S. Open…
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...