Heisman Trophy Trust Sues HeismanWatch.com

On Wednesday, October 3rd 2018, the Heisman Trophy Trust, the organization behind the famed Heisman Trophy, filed a trademark claim against HeismanWatch.com, a website that tracks the competition for the award. The trust submitted their compliant to New York federal court, positing that the website has used the Heisman trademarks without their consent or permission to capitalize on its fame.  The website HeismanWatch.com has been managed by owners Chase Leavitt, Joseph Middleton, and Kimball Dean since 2014, and has podcasts and social media…
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In Pursuit of Class Certification against EA, Retired NFL Players Cite Bette Midler

The retired NFL players suing Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) are citing an unexpected figure in their continued efforts to gain class certification: singer Bette Midler. The athletes’ action against EA began in 2010, over the company using their likeness in the video games, arguing that, while EA pays the NFL players union when featuring the names and likeness of current players, EA failed to compensate retired players in the same fashion. A federal judge recently ruled against the athletes, refusing to certify their case as…
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TaylorMade Takes Case to Patent Trial and Appeal Board

On August 30, 2018, the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) agreed to hear two challenges by TaylorMade Golf Company, Inc. (TaylorMade) against its fellow golf manufacture rival, Parsons Xtreme Golf LLC (Xtreme). The patents in question, US Patent No. 9,199,143 and US Patent No. 8,961,336 were previously filed by Xtreme and have remained a source of contention between the two companies for over a year. Back in September 2017, Xtreme accused TaylorMade of selling golf clubs that infringed multiple of Xtreme’s patents,…
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Retired NFL Players Denied Class Certification in Copyright Lawsuit Against EA

On August 17, 2018, a group of retired NFL players was denied class certification in California Federal Court for the second time. As we have previously reported, the retired NFL players claimed that EA created physically and biographically similar avatars of the former NFL players and used them in their famous Madden NFL video game. According to the former players, EA used the player’s actual positions, teams, accurately pointed to the players’ retired statuses, and EA publicized their use by coining certain features of…
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Five in NYC Charged for Selling Over $73M in Counterfeit Jordans

Five New York City individuals have recently been charged for the sale of over $73 million worth of counterfeit Nike Air Jordans, in a ring thought to have been active since at least 2016. On August 3, 2018, a complaint was filed in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Miyuki Suen, Jian Min Huang, Songhua Qu, Kin Lui Chen, and Fangrang Qu conspired to and did traffic counterfeit goods in violation of federal law. The investigation was led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI),…
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Bizarre Inside Edition Lawsuit that Involves the Murder of a Former NFL Player

On August 6, 2018, Billups P. Percy sued Inside Edition Inc. after Inside Edition allegedly used Percy’s copyrighted video of Anthony Hayes. On December 26, 2005, Percy, a Louisiana-based photojournalist, video recorded Anthony Hayes wielding a knife while surrounded by New Orleans police officers. Hayes was shot and killed by a police officer after he lunged at a police lieutenant. Percy later registered the video with the U.S. Copyright Office and he was given rights to the video as the sole owner of all “right,…
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CBS Interactive Inc. Sued for Trademark Infringement

On July 13, 2018, Fulltime Fantasy Sports, LLC (Fulltime) sued CBS Interactive Inc. (CBSi) for trademark infringement, false advertising, breach of contract, conversion, unlawful and deceptive practices, and unfair competition. According to the complaint, “[a]s fantasy football season approaches, Fulltime has been forced to file this action to seek relief from the Court’s so that CBSi will stop misappropriating Fulltime’s intellectual property and good will, stop confusing consumers, and pay Fulltime what it is owed.” Fulltime, founded in 2011, “provided premier fantasy sports content,…
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NFL Enterprises LLC Settles Patent Dispute

On July 10, 2018, NFL Enterprises LLC reached a settlement with OpenTV Inc. While the details of the settlement were not disclosed, the two parties did terminate their ongoing proceeding before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board and their ongoing lawsuit in the United States District Court of California. Back in May 2017, OpenTV and Nagravision SA filed eight patent infringement claims against the NFL Enterprises claiming that various video content used by the NFL Enterprises viewers on their…
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WWE and Take-Two Interactive Move to Dismiss Tattoo Artist Copyright Infringement

On July 9, 2018, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (Take-Two) moved to dismiss the suit brought by Catherine Alexander, a tattoo artist for professional WWE wrestler Randy Orton. As we have previously reported, Alexander, sued WWE and Take-Two claiming that several video games in the WWE 2K series illegally copied Alexander’s copyrighted tattoos in the Randy Orton game avatar. Between 2003 and 2008, Alexander created several tattoos for Orton, including tattoos on his upper back, forearms, upper arms, and…
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