Phillie Phanatic Creators Fire Back with New Filing

Wade Harrison and Bonnie Erickson, credited with designing the Philadelphia Phillies’ mascot, the Phanatic, have filed a reply to a lawsuit alleging that the creators were threatening the baseball club with pulling the team’s rights to use the mascot. The creators have described the lawsuit by the Phillies as a “weapon.” At issue is whether the creators of the Phanatic can use the Copyright Act’s termination right – a rule made to allow authors to regain control over works they created, but signed away. The…
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Peloton Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Expanded to $300 Million, Includes Over 2,000 Songs

A refreshed complaint against cycling giant, Peloton, by over 30 music publishers was approved by a federal judge, approximately doubling the number of songs and damages claimed. As we reported earlier, 30 music publishers filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Peloton in March. The company is known for its high-end stationary bicycles that allow users to stream online spinning classes. The lawsuit alleges that these classes used copyrighted music and that Peloton failed to obtain proper synchronization licenses, which are fees paid to music…
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LeBron’s “Taco Tuesday” Trademark Blocked

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected LeBron James’ application to trademark the phrase Taco Tuesday. Having become a popular part of American food culture, Taco Tuesday is a common theme found at restaurants across the country. Since the NBA offseason began, James recorded and posted videos celebrating Taco Tuesday. Some videos were with his family at the dinner table and other videos were by himself. The USPTO explained its decision, stating that “Taco Tuesday” is a “commonplace term, message, or expression…
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Mr. T Sues Popular Marijuana Website

On August 22, 2019, Laurence Tureaud, most commonly known as Mr. T, sued Leafly, a digital cannabis company. In his lawsuit, Mr. T claimed that Leafly, the largest cannabis website in the world for people in legal cannabis markets, infringed on his trademark rights by abbreviating one of their product names, called Mr. Tusk, to “Mrt.” Mr. T became famous in the 1980s for his roles in the “The A-Team” and “Rocky III.” According to Mr. T, the abbreviation of Mr. Tusk to “Mrt”…
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The “Greek Freak” Freaks over Trademark Infringement

Giannis Antetokounmpo, a member of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, recently filed a lawsuit against Viral Style LLC, a clothing company. According to Antetokounmpo, Viral used the trademarks “Greek Freak” and “Greek Fr34K” without Antetokounmpo’s permission. Antetokounmpo earned the nickname “Greek Freak” and later trademarked the name and an accompanying image related to his nationality, skill, and household notoriety. The nearly seven-foot-tall Bucks star claims Viral infringed on and counterfeited his trademarks by “designing, selling and distributing various products, including tees, hoodies and T-shirts, under the…
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City of Phanatic Love: Phillies Face Lawsuit Over Beloved Mascot

He’s green, a little mean, and often obscene – it’s the mascot everyone loves to hate, the infamous Phillie Phanatic. After the filing of a new federal lawsuit, however, there’s an ominous question looming of whether the 41-year-old relationship will continue in the city of brotherly love. Back on August 2, 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies filed a copyright lawsuit in federal court against Harrison/Erickson, Inc. (H/E) over the future use of the Phanatic as a mascot.  Reportedly, H/E asserts that its primary members, Bonnie and…
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Bat Out of Court: Meat Loaf Settles Copyright Lawsuit Over “I’d Do Anything For Love”

Multi-platinum musician, Meat Loaf, successfully flew out of the frying pan and into a settlement over a copyright dispute involving his hit song, “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).” Back in 2017, Enclosed Music LLC filed a copyright lawsuit in California, alleging Meat Loaf ripped off “[I’d Do] Anything for You” by Jon Dunmore Sinclair, whose catalog Enclosed owns. The song in question received tremendous accolades and success during its release in 1993; commercially, the album sold more than 14 million…
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Adidas Falls Short in Protecting Trademark Registration of “Three-Stripe Mark” in EU Court

Adidas AG fell short in its efforts to protect broader trademark rights to its three-stripe mark, as the European Union ruled the design was not distinctive enough for protection. This decision invalidated its 2014 trademark registration on “three parallel equidistant stripes of identical width” which are applied on products “in any discretion.” “Adidas does not prove that that mark has acquired, throughout the territory of the EU, distinctive character following the use which had been made of it,” the court wrote in its decision summary
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Stephen Curry’s “Holey Moley” Faces Trademark Complaint in California Court

Fun Lab IP Co. Pty. Ltd. filed a trademark complaint in California federal court against Los Angeles-based Eureka Productions, claiming that the title of Eureka’s upcoming ABC game-show, Holey Moley, infringes on a popular Australian mini-golf chain of the same name. The show, which is hosted by two-time NBA Finals MVP and executive producer, Stephen Curry, and is advertised as a competitive mini-golf competition, will involve head-to-head matches between 12 contestants. Each episode, contestants will compete for a $25,000 prize on what an
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Judge Rules that Documentary’s Use of “Super Bowl Shuffle” Didn’t Violate Copyright

The U.S. District Court ruled on May 30, 2019 that a documentary’s feature of the “Super Bowl Shuffle” song in its film did not violate the song’s copyright. The fan-favorite rap song, performed by Walter Payton and other Chicago Bears players, was originally made famous in 1985, when the Bears won Super Bowl XX. Snippets of the song were used in the documentary “85: The Greatest Team in Football History,” a 2016 film by Scott Prestin celebrating the Chicago Bears’ championship season. The lawsuit was…
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