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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Major Sports Leagues Band Together Against Merchandise Counterfeiters

Three major sports leagues, among others, have recently banded together to put an end to a purportedly massive online circuit of sports merchandise counterfeiters using the leagues’ distinctive trademarks.  On July 2, 2018, NBA Properties, Inc., MLB Advanced Media, L.P., NHL Enterprises, L.P., IMG College Licensing, LLC, and the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska (Plaintiffs) filed suit against an undisclosed list of foreign defendants for alleged trademark infringement. Plaintiffs contend that the online stores are selling their products by using their distinctive…
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University of Arkansas Files Suit Against Counterfeit Retailers

On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, the University of Arkansas’ Board of Trustees filed a suit seeking to stop a “massive network” of counterfeit websites selling fake or unregistered Razorback merchandise. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court, in the Northern District of Illinois. Defendants are not named, but are described as retailers “residing in China” or “other foreign jurisdictions”, operating “without any authorizations or licenses”. These phony retailers are extremely successful, as the complaint alleges that they receive tens of millions of visits per…
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Precedent Setting Copyright Case Finally Comes to an End

The precedent setting case Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC, was decided by the United States Supreme Court in March 2017. As we have previously covered, the decision held that a cheerleading uniform’s decorative elements may be protected under copyright law. The ruling provided some resolution regarding the disagreement over when these types of designs are eligible for protection under U.S. copyright law. However, after the decision, the court asked the parties to prepare a joint report setting forth a suggested path…
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Update: LeBron Seeks to Dismiss Infringement Suit

As we have previously covered, LeBron James became the target of an infringement suit in April 2018, after a barbershop owner and host of a University of Alabama talk show alleged that he copied his barbershop-themed show. James’ show, “The Shop”, and the Social Club Grooming Co.’s show, “Shop Talk”, respectively, are comparably themed, and each center on interviewing celebrity guests as they get haircuts. Though the Social Club (the d/b/a of plaintiff, Adventure Enterprises, Inc.) initiated the suit, the ball was first put…
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Pepsi Can’t Get Out of Suit Over 2016 Super Bowl Ad

In July 2016, Betty Inc, a boutique advertising agency filed a complaint for copyright infringement, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, and unfair competition against soft drink giant PepsiCo. In November of 2016, Pepsi was granted their motion to dismiss the complaint. However, this motion did not dismiss Betty Inc.’s copyright infringement claim and allowed the agency to amend their contract claim. Now, on June 5, 2018, Pepsi has lost their bid to dismiss the complaint after Judge Vincent L. Briccetti ruled that Pepsi needed…
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Indians Pitcher Claims IP Infringement Against Louisiana Baseball Training Program

On June 4, 2018, Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer commenced a lawsuit against a Louisiana-based baseball training program, claiming that it misappropriated his name, identity, likeness, and other interests protected under intellectual property laws. Bauer contends that the program, Top Velocity, LLC, had used his persona on its website and across its various social media accounts for its own commercial gain, leading the public to believe that Bauer and Top Velocity were associated. Bauer’s complaint asserts a total of 21 causes of action, including…
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