For The Third Time, California Courts Rule that the NFL Remains the Away Team

The National Football League (NFL) suffered its third blow from a California appeals court on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. First, the NFL-favored venue of California for the concussion related suits was denied; second, the NFL’s least preferable venue of New York was allowed; and now, California says the NFL will be the visiting team in New York court against 32 insurance companies. The NFL is looking to pass the bill to insurers for its concussion related lawsuits. The League argued for California jurisdiction…
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Touchdown Jets! Federal Judge Rules New York Football Team Can Use “Ultimate Fan” Phrase

New York Jets LLC recently scored a touchdown when a Louisiana Federal Court ruled that a sports marketing company no longer owned the trademark to “Ultimate Fan.” On May 30th, United States District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo of the Eastern District of Louisiana granted the Jets’ motion for summary judgment against Action Ink Inc. holding that the ‘Ultimate Fan’ trademark was abandoned and Action Ink had no enforceable trademark rights to the phrase. Action Ink sued the Jets in 2012 claiming that it…
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Funk Band Finally Listens to Hip-Hop, Files Suit Over Sample Used in 2003 Track

1970’s funk band Bloodstone filed suit in Missouri federal court on May 20, 2013 against Universal Music Group, Inc. (UMG) for copyright infringement of their 1979 song “I’m Just Doing My Job.” The Complaint, filed by members of Bloodstone alleges that UMG gave rappers T.I. and Kanye West a license to sample the 1979 song for use in TI’s hit “Doin’ My Job” without permission from the band. Bloodstone members Charles Love, Harry Williams, and Charles McCormick retain the sound recording and composition rights for…
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Former Hockey Player Derek Boogaard’s Family Sues NHL for Wrongful Death

The family of a National Hockey League (NHL) player who died of an accidental overdose from pain medications and alcohol has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the league in Cook County, Illinois. The family of Derek Boogaard alleges that the NHL is responsible for the brain damage he suffered during his years in the league and for his eventual addiction to prescription pain killers. Boogaard was found dead of an accidental overdose of pain medication and alcohol on May 13, 2011 at the age…
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Former Producer Sues the WWE Over Big Show’s Aggressive Interview That Was All Too Real

Former WWW Producer Andrew Green has filed suit against World Wrestling Entertainment (the “WWE”) and professional wrestler Paul Wight Jr. a/k/a “Big Show” over a messy backstage interview.  Part of Green’s job responsibilities as a producer was to interview wrestlers following their bouts.  Green was asked to interview Big Show after his World Heavyweight Championship bout vs. Alberto Del Rio during January’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view event.  Big Show initially refused to do the interview until he was informed that it was ordered by a high…
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Singh Fires Back at PGA Tour with Lawsuit Over Deer-Antler Spray Suspension

On May 8, 2013, pro golfer Vijay Singh filed suit against the PGA Tour in New York State Supreme Court for exposing him to “public humiliation and ridicule.”  The suit stems from the Tour’s 12 week investigation into Singh for his use of deer-antler spray.  The Tour dropped its case against on April 30, 2013, citing new information from the World Anti-Doping Agency which said that it no longer prohibits the spray because it only contains minimal amounts of a banned substance, the growth factor…
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Classic Novel at the Center of New Copyright Battle

On May 3, 2013,  “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Nelle Harper Lee sued her former literary agent Samuel Pinkus and agency Veritas Media, Inc., accusing them of deceiving her into handing over the copyright to the book for nothing and wrongfully retaining the related commissions that Lee was entitled to. The back story is a relatively complicated one: Lee’s complaint asserts that Pinkus took advantage of his father-in-law’s ailing health back in 2002, snagging all the father-in-law’s clients from his literary agency McIntosh & Otis,…
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NFL Players’ Workers’ Compensation Offset Suit Revisited by Second Circuit

On April 19, 2013, the Second Circuit reopened a claim allowing injured former National Football League (NFL) players from teams including the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Carolina Panthers to go forward with further litigation against the National Football League Management Council (council) over the size of workers’ compensation offsets that can be claimed by their former teams. The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and the council are parties to a collective bargaining agreement that incorporates a standard player’s contract into its terms…
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Insurance Blunder Costs Newest Philadelphia Eagles’ QB $11.5 Million

Quarterback Matt Barkley was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 98th pick in the 2013 NFL draft.  He was the fourth quarterback selected and was the first selection in the fourth round.  History suggests that he will sign a four-year contract with the Eagles worth about $2.5 million.  Sure, that’s a lot of dough, but not nearly what Barkley would have earned had he foregone his senior season at USC and entered the NFL draft in 2012. As a projected top-10 pick…
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Songwriters Seek ‘Somebody’ to Sue – Hit Bieber and Usher with $10 Million Copyright Infringement Suit

On May 2, 2013, Justin Bieber, Usher, and Universal Music Corporation were slapped with a $10 million copyright infringement lawsuit by Virginia songwriters Devin Copeland (a.k.a. ‘De Rico’) and Mareio Overton.  Plaintiffs accuse Bieber and the others of stealing their song “Somebody to Love” – a song which Bieber released as a hit single in 2010.  Usher and Bieber later collaborated to release a remix of the song. Plaintiffs allege they handed the song over to music industry scouts in 2008, and it was then…
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