Godzilla Settles with “Mechahopzilla”

Godzilla’s rights-owner Toho Co. Ltd. announced a settlement of the intellectual property litigation with New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Co. (“NOLA”).  Toho had filed a lawsuit against NOLA when it had come out with a beer called ‘Mechahopzilla’ and used a logo allegedly similar to Mechagodzilla, a character from the 1974 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.  While no monetary award was reported, the agreement calls for NOLA to rename its beer and change some aspects of its advertising and packaging that are affected by …

Continue Reading

Merriman Lawsuit May Be “Lights Out” for Nike

Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman is suing apparel giant Nike. Merriman’s company, Lights Out Holdings LLC, filed suit in California claiming that Nike infringed his trademark in “Lights Out” after Nikeintroduced a “Lights Out” line of merchandise. Merriman earned the “Lights Out” nickname in high school when he knocked out four opposing players in one game. Merriam secured a federal trademark in “Lights Out.” It has been used in several off-field ventures and is largely associated with Merriman’s persona.

According to the suit, although Nike …

Continue Reading

Michael Jordan Wins in 7th Circuit Case over Supermarket Ad

On February 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court’s dismissal of a claim brought by Michael Jordan against Jewel Food Stores.  Jordan’s lawsuit alleged that the grocery store misappropriated his identity for the store’s commercial benefit by running an ad in Sports Illustrated that congratulated the ex-player on his 2009 induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Though the ad didn’t feature Jordan himself, it prominently displayed a pair of red and white gym shoes featuring …

Continue Reading

Coinye Shutting Off “All of the Lights”

“Coinye West” is closing up shop because Kanye West isn’t happy.  On January 14, 2014, Kanye West filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the virtual currency now known as Coinye.  The currency, which started as a joke, announced through its website, “Coinye is dead. You win, Kanye.”

Earlier this month, the currency’s founders discussed Coinye West in an interview with Vibe. They talked about the soon to be launched currency.  Referring to Kanye, they said “I think he’s gonna love that there’s a …

Continue Reading

Disney Hoping to Freeze “Frozen Land”

This holiday season Disney released its newest animated film “Frozen.” To celebrate, the company presented Phase 4 Films with a gift worse than Aunt Edna’s fruit cake – a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Disney’s “Frozen” was released on November 19, 2013.  Less than three weeks earlier, Phase 4 changed the title of one of its from “The Legend of Sarila” to “Frozen Land.”  In a December 23 complaint, Disney stated the change was an attempt to ride the coattails of “Frozen’s” success.

Under its original title, …

Continue Reading

What the Hells (Angels)? Young Jeezy Sued Over Skull Logo

It’s a strange day when the Hells Angels motorcycle club goes to court by choice; but, that’s exactly what it did recently.  Rather than using bats, knives, and chains to protect its logo, the Angels filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court.  According to TMZ, the club filed suit against 8732 Apparel and Dillard’s, Inc. for infringing on its “Death Head” logo.

8732 Apparel, owned by rapper Young Jeezy, sells a wide range of attire including hats, jackets, shirts, and more.  The Angles …

Continue Reading

FX facing mark’s F-X-Xtinction?

The name seemed silly from the moment those commercials started to run. You know them — the ones with the cast members of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia speaking to each other in what sounds, to the naked ear, like Swedish. The ad spots changed as the summer season rolled out on FX, but the punchline of each promo was always the same, with one cast member saying the name of the channel that the great comedy show was moving to. Repeat after Danny DeVito: …

Continue Reading

Godzilla vs. Mechahopzilla

Beer Advocate, the Godzilla of beer reviewers, gave Mechahopzilla, the newest IPA entry from the New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA) a score of 89 percent and an overall rating of “very good.” But there was at least one company that was not overjoyed with the summer success of a beer known as Mechahopzilla and, as a result, NOLA appears to have gotten itself in some hop-filled, boiling water. This week, the popular brewer was dragged into federal court, in the Eastern …

Continue Reading


Blurring the lines (via possible dilution, of course) of who has the right to a trademark incorporating the words “I AM,” early last week Judge Michael Dolinger of the Southern District ordered attorneys to agree to a discovery schedule and move forward with the case I Am Other Entertainment LLC v. William Adams and I.Am.Symbolic, LLC, 13-cv-4547 or, as everyone else knows it, the lawsuit in which Pharrell Williams (Pharrell), writer/rapper/singer/producer and the voice behind some of this summer’s biggest hits (Daft Punk’s “Get …

Continue Reading

NFL’s Squeeze Play Forces “Harbowl” Trademark Owner to Forfeit Rights

Last year Roy Fox got to thinking – what if NFL Head Coaches and brothers Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco 49ers) and John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens) ended up facing each other in the Super Bowl?  With that thought in mind, Fox went out and spent over $1,000 to file trademark applications for the terms “Harbowl” and “Harbaugh Bowl.”  The NFL was not pleased by Fox’s play.  Shortly before the 2012-2013 season began, the League contacted Fox with concerns that his trademarks could become confused with the …

Continue Reading