Snooki Wins Trademark Lawsuit

Back in August of 2013, reality television star Nicole Polizzi, known to her fans as Snooki, brought a $2.4 million lawsuit against Excell Brands and its perfume “Snazzy.”  Polizzi alleged trademark infringement of her perfume brand “Snooki.” The brand “Snazzy Woman” by Excell Brands is marketed in a box containing similar leopard print and what Excell calls a disclaimer: “Our version of Snooki by Nicole Polizzi.”  While the smell and packaging may be similar, the text of the name “Snooki by Nicole Polizzi” on the…
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Jennifer Love Hewitt Sues a Slimming Product Maker

Furious over an unauthorized use of her photo, Jennifer Love Hewitt filed a lawsuit against the Marz Group that makes a weight-loss vitamin spray.  The company used a photo of the actress holding the spray in its advertisement which was first featured in a popular reality show Shark Tank.  While the company claims various slimming effects of the spray, one investor on the show even said, “But you realize how stupid this sounds, right? It’s a scam… I mean it’s a hustle.” In the…
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Beastie Boys Make the Closing Argument against Monster Energy Drink

On June 4, the Beastie Boys’ lawyer Kevin Puvalowski delivered his closing argument in a copyright infringement suit against an energy drink maker Monster.  The lawsuit claims that Monster used portions of the band’s songs without a license in its 2012 promotional video. With the members Michael Diamond or “Mike D” and Adam Horovitz or “Ad-Rock” present in the courtroom, Puvalowski urged the jurors that Monster should pay $2 million in damages for its negligence over its employees “stealing from the Beastie Boys.” On the…
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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…
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FTC Will Continue to Monitor Sports Equipment Concussion Protection Claims

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) testified before Congress about its efforts to ensure the accuracy of concussion protection claims made in connection with sporting equipment.  Richard Cleland, Assistant Director for Advertising Practices in FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, testified before a Congressional Subcommittee and outlined efforts the agency has taken. As concussion awareness has grown, manufacturers have increasingly been making claims about the concussion protection ability of their products.  “Given the dangers that concussions pose for young athletes engaged in sports, it is…
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Judge Judy Suing to Protect Her “Prestigious Persona”

Judith Sheindlin – better known as “Judge Judy” – may soon be standing on the other side of the bench.  On March 12, Sheindlin filed her first lawsuit through which she is accusing fellow Connecticut attorney John Haymond of using her image in advertisements without permission. According to Sheindlin, Haymond and his firm have been airing advertisements in Connecticut and Massachusetts during broadcasts of her show.  Despite a warning to stop in March 2013, the firm continued to run the ads.  The unauthorized ads allegedly…
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Michael Jordan Wins in 7th Circuit Case over Supermarket Ad

On February 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court’s dismissal of a claim brought by Michael Jordan against Jewel Food Stores.  Jordan’s lawsuit alleged that the grocery store misappropriated his identity for the store’s commercial benefit by running an ad in Sports Illustrated that congratulated the ex-player on his 2009 induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Though the ad didn’t feature Jordan himself, it prominently displayed a pair of red and white gym shoes featuring…
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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:…
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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…
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TaylorMade Pulls Rocketballz Advertising Claim

On June 12, 2013, The National Advertising Division (NAD) heard Callaway Golf Company’s challenge regarding a claim that “the average golfer picked up about 17 yards” with TaylorMade Golf Company’s “Rocketballz” 3-Wood. The NAD provides alternative dispute resolution for companies that challenge factual claims made in national advertisements. The NAD examined whether TaylorMade implied that Rocketballz would actually increase the average golfers distance by 17 yards despite their experience or skill. TaylorMade said the claim was a “single misworded reference” to its Rocketballz fairway woods.…
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