Adidas Settles Trademark Infringement Case Against Skechers

On June 16, 2017, the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider discussed an appeal made by Sketchers to lift a preliminary injunction granted in favor Adidas, which had alleged that the Skechers Onix sneaker was violating the trademark of the iconic Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoe. The injunction was later affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. While affirming the injunction and continuing to prevent Skechers from manufacturing or selling the Skechers Onix, the appeals court noted its belief that Adidas would likely succeed at…
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College Student/Start-Up Business Owner Sues New Era Cap Co. for Trademark Infringement

On May 22, 2018, God’s Era, a small start-up casual apparel company in Massachusetts, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against New Era Cap Co. According to the complaint, New Era Cap Co. willfully engaged in trademark infringement, unfairly competed, injured God’s Era business reputation, and New Era Cap Co. used false and deceptive business practices. God’s Era is a small apparel company that was “wholly self-funded by its owner, Averil Hilton, who is currently a full-time college student and working full-time at another job…
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ESPN and Chick-Fil-A Move to Dismiss Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

On May 22, 2018, ESPN and Chick-Fil-A filed a brief in support of their motion to dismiss Platinum Jack Entertainment, LLC’s copyright infringement lawsuit. As we have previously covered, Platinum Jack filed a lawsuit against ESPN and Chick-Fil-A because of their allegedly impermissible use of the song entitled “Best I Had” by Drayter, from whom Platinum Jack purchased “all rights and publishing.” Now ESPN and Chick-Fil-A have moved to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that “the complaint is a four-page pleading riddled with errors, conclusory…
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Battle of the Barbershops Continues: Alabama Alleges Infringement, Sues LeBron & Co.

On April 16, 2018, the Social Club Grooming Co., barbershop owner and host of Alabama’s “Shop Talk,” filed a trademark suit against LeBron James and his multimedia company, Uninterrupted Digital Ventures, LLC, for the same concern that LeBron expressed just weeks ago in a letter to the college – infringement. As we have recently covered, James and the University of Alabama have been at odds over the parties’ similarly themed barbershop shows, “The Shop,” and “Shop Talk,” respectively. Upon discovering the existence of Alabama’s…
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Chick-Fil-A and ESPN Under Attack for Copyright Infringement

On April 10, 2018, music producer, Platinum Jack Entertainment, LLC filed suit in a Texas court against Chick-Fil-A and ESPN for their allegedly impermissible use of a band’s original music in recent commercials. The commercials feature sportscasters Joey Galloway and Adnan Virk of ESPN making chicken-related football commentary, with the tune of the song in dispute playing in the background. Though the song lacks the vocals that would make its appropriation clear, Platinum Jack contends that it is identifiable sans lyrics and is currently asserting…
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EA Still on the Hook for NFL Likeness Misuse; Wins on Sanctions Motion in the Meantime

As we have previously reported, Electronic Arts Inc. continues to be under fire for trying to evade responsibility for its alleged unauthorized use of thousands of NFL players’ likenesses in its video games, most notably in Madden NFL. On March 29, 2018, the retired players filed a motion in opposition to EA’s third attempt at summary judgment. According to the retired players’ motion, they represent a proposed class of over 7,500 other retired NFL players who claim to have been similarly aggrieved by EA’s…
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Battle of the Barbershops: LeBron vs. Alabama

On April 2, 2018, LeBron James’ multimedia company, Uninterrupted, sent a stern letter to the University of Alabama for airing a sports talk series that feels strangely similar to his own new series, “The Shop.” The University of Alabama’s series, “Shop Talk,” much like James’ series, is set in a barber shop, and involves a group of people having casual conversation about an assortment of topics. James’ show, which has already gotten over four million views, features James, his friends, and other guests getting…
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Tattoo Copyright Infringement? Judge Says Too Soon To Tell

On March 30, 2018, a federal judge denied a motion in defense of a video game producer’s use of tattoo designs in its basketball-themed games. As we have previously covered, Solid Oak Sketches LLC, the owner of eight copyrighted tattoos donned by several high profile NBA players, filed suit against video game producer and distributer, Take-Two Productions, for alleged infringement. Solid Oak purchased the designs directly from the tattoo artists, and offered to allow Take-Two to use them for $819,000, or perpetually for $1.14…
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NCAA Fails to Appear for Trademark Trial, Files New Suit Entirely

On March 4, 2018, two owners of Southern California Ford dealerships filed for dismissal or staying of a trademark infringement suit initiated by the NCAA, while the parties await decision on the same issue from the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB). The NCAA initiated a suit in response to the dealerships’ uses of “Markdown Madness,” claiming the slogan could easily be confused with the NCAA’s “March Madness.” Dealership owners and defendants, Ken Grody Management, Inc. and Dixon Ford, Inc., had already been defending the…
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Legal Fees Sought After NCAA Trademark Suit Deemed “Exceptional Case”

As we have previously reported, the NCAA has recently triumphed over a year-long trademark suit when its motion requesting an entry of default was granted back in January 2018, and a default judgment rendered thereafter. The suit alleged that defendants Robert Alexander and Kizzang LLC had infringed, diluted, and unfairly competed with the NCAA by using and attempting to register the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.” The marks were strikingly similar to the NCAA’s well-known trademarks of “March Madness” and the “Final…
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