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…
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...

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”…
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...

“Hard Rock” Hamilton Can’t add Claim in Video Game Suit

On January 10, 2019, former former football player, professional wrestler, and motivational speaker, Lenwood “Hard Rock” Hamilton, was allowed to drop, but not add, allegations in his suit against Microsoft Studios Inc. and Epic Games Inc. Back in 2005, Hamilton claimed that he provided photos and voice recordings for a character who would later become Augustus “Cole Train” Cole in the video game Gears of War. In 2017, in a lawsuit against Microsoft Studios Inc., Hamilton claimed that the character, voiced by actor Lester…
Continue reading...

Nirvana Says Stay Away, Demands All Apologies in Lawsuit Against Marc Jacobs

On December 28, 2018, Nirvana LLC brought suit against Marc Jacobs International, claiming copyright and trademark infringement. Nirvana LLC was formed back in 1997 by Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and the Cobain Estate controlled by Courtney Love. Per the complaint, Nirvana argues that the Jacobs fashion brand has taken advantage of its image in misleading customers to believe Nirvana has endorsed or is otherwise associated with Jacobs’ “Bootleg Redux Grunge” collection. In particular, Jacobs has allegedly re-purposed the infamous “Smiley Face” logo created by Kurt…
Continue reading...