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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Pepsi Moves for Summary Judgement in 2016 Super Bowl Ad Suit

On April 1, 2019, Pepsi moved for summary judgement in the lawsuit over its 2016 Super Bowl halftime commercial that featured artist Janelle Monảe. As we have previously reported, back in July 2016, Betty Inc., a boutique Connecticut advertising agency filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, and unfair competition against the soft drink giant PepsiCo. According to the lawsuit, Betty Inc. claimed that Pepsi’s 2016 ad was “fundamentally based” on an idea that Betty Inc. previously pitched to…
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Changing the Cycle: Peloton Removes Songs at Heart of Copyright Infringement Suit

On March 25, 2019, Peloton ceased use of particular songs in its streaming workout videos. This comes in response to facing a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by music publishers, who argue that Peloton is utilizing music from their artists without permission. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, alleges that Peloton used more than 1,000 songs impermissibly and seeks in excess of $150 million in damages. Additionally, the complaint alleges that much of Peloton’s success can be…
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MillersCoors Requests Injunction, Removal of Bud Light “Corn Syrup” Ads

On March 28, 2019, MillerCoors submitted a brief in support of its motion for a preliminary injunction against Anheuser-Busch, requesting Anheuser-Busch be stopped from airing Bud Light commercials that focus on the inclusion of corn syrup in Miller Lite and Coors Light. Per the request, MillerCoors implores that these ads have caused irreparable harm to the company’s image – an image that has taken “generations” to build. Per the lawsuit, while although MillerCoors admits the use of corn syrup in its products, an important caveat…
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Texas A&M Wants out of the “12th Man” Copyright Suit

On March 15, 2019, Texas A&M University urged U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen that the Texas A&M Athletic Department is not a separate entity and therefore is entitled to immunity in the Texas A&M “12th Man” copyright suit. As we have continued to report, in 2014, Michael J. Bynum, an author, sued Texas A&M after it posted on its website the “heart” of Mr. Bynum unpublished book, 12th Man: The Life and Legend of Texas A&M’s E. King Gill. According to…
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Potential New Tax Law Would Allow NCAA Athletes to Profit From Their Image

On March 14, 2019, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) introduced a bill that would allow NCAA athletes to profit from their image and likeness. The Student-Athlete Equity Act, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), would amend the definition of an “amateur” in the federal tax code and would allow NCAA student-athletes to get paid when they, or more specifically their image, appears in video games, advertisements, and other public media. In a statement, Rep. Walker said, “Signing an athletic scholarship with a school…
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