In Pursuit of Class Certification against EA, Retired NFL Players Cite Bette Midler

The retired NFL players suing Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) are citing an unexpected figure in their continued efforts to gain class certification: singer Bette Midler. The athletes’ action against EA began in 2010, over the company using their likeness in the video games, arguing that, while EA pays the NFL players union when featuring the names and likeness of current players, EA failed to compensate retired players in the same fashion. A federal judge recently ruled against the athletes, refusing to certify their case as…
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Kaepernick’s Grievance against the NFL to Advance

Colin Kaepernick’s case against the NFL will proceed to a full hearing, following an arbitrator’s decision on Thursday, August 30, 2018 to deny the NFL’s motion for summary judgment. The former 49ers quarterback accuses the NFL of colluding to keep him out of the league since he became a free agent in March 2017, arguing that the organization refuses to hire him because of the national anthem protests Kaepernick initiated in 2016. Now, with the case going to a full, trial-like format, some team…
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Retired NFL Players Denied Class Certification in Copyright Lawsuit Against EA

On August 17, 2018, a group of retired NFL players was denied class certification in California Federal Court for the second time. As we have previously reported, the retired NFL players claimed that EA created physically and biographically similar avatars of the former NFL players and used them in their famous Madden NFL video game. According to the former players, EA used the player’s actual positions, teams, accurately pointed to the players’ retired statuses, and EA publicized their use by coining certain features of…
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Bizarre Inside Edition Lawsuit that Involves the Murder of a Former NFL Player

On August 6, 2018, Billups P. Percy sued Inside Edition Inc. after Inside Edition allegedly used Percy’s copyrighted video of Anthony Hayes. On December 26, 2005, Percy, a Louisiana-based photojournalist, video recorded Anthony Hayes wielding a knife while surrounded by New Orleans police officers. Hayes was shot and killed by a police officer after he lunged at a police lieutenant. Percy later registered the video with the U.S. Copyright Office and he was given rights to the video as the sole owner of all “right,…
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Two Former NFL Players Dispute Rightful Ownership of Miami Property

On August 2, 2018, a judge denied an “emergency motion” requesting a temporary injunction to prevent a Miami property purportedly owned by former NFL player, Antonio Bryant, from being conveyed to a third party by another former NFL player, Chuck Sanders.  Bryant filed the motion after claiming that Sanders forged Bryant’s signature on a 2012 deed to himself, and in February 2018, inappropriately conveyed Bryant’s North Miami Beach parcel to a Pennsylvania company called DTT North LLC (“DTT”). The dispute began after Sanders made a…
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NFL Concussion Settlement Payouts Far Ahead of Schedule

As we recently reported, the district judge overseeing the NFL’s billion dollar concussion settlement has refused the NFL’s request for a special investigator to uncover potentially fraudulent claimants.  Since then, claims administrators in the settlement process have released a report indicating that over $500 million in claims had been approved for payout as of July 30, 2018, which is 8 years ahead of the 10-year, $400 million projection. Just weeks ago, counsel for the NFL conjectured that the total settlement would reach approximately $1.4…
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Judge from Deflategate Case Declines Autograph Request from Fan

On July 19, 2018, Scott Smith, an avid Sports Illustrated magazine collector, emailed U.S. District Judge Richard S. Berman requesting his autograph on the cover of the September 14, 2015 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine. According to the email, one of Smith’s lifelong passions is “collecting autographs on my covers of Sports Illustrated magazine.” According to Smith, he has the world’s largest personal collection of autographed SI magazines, about 20,000 magazines in total. His collection is allegedly well documented, he has appeared in Sports…
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Update: Judge Denies Special Investigator in NFL Concussion Settlement

Recently, a judge denied the NFL’s Request to hire a special investigator in the billion-dollar concussion settlement case. According to Judge Anita B. Brody, “[t]he NFL Parties have provided sufficient evidence of possible fraud to warrant serious concern … however, the Claims Administrator and Special Masters have demonstrated that they are capable of ferreting out any claims involving misrepresentations, omissions, or concealment of material fact, and ensuring that those claims are not paid.” As we have previously reported, counsel representing the NFL asked Judge…
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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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NFL Players Association Files Grievance Over League Anthem Policy

On Tuesday, July 11, the NFL Player Association (NFLPA) filed a grievance against the league over its new national anthem policy. The policy was announced in May 2018 after a wave of peaceful on-field protests by current players during the past NFL season. The players were protesting police brutality towards the African-American community as well as systematic racism. Nevertheless, the players and league itself received criticism and outrage from President Donald Trump and other conservatives over the player’s decision to protest by kneeling during the…
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