Major League Baseball has a battle on its hands. One of its main sponsors, Anheuser-Busch Inc., has filed a lawsuit against MLB, claiming that the company was entitled to a multi-year renewal on its beer-sponsorship rights based on negotiations that ended with a letter agreement in April 2010, and that MLB all of a sudden went back on its promise to renew, asking for much higher fees. More specifically, Anheuser-Busch claims that MLB changed its mind after it found out the details of the beer company’s new sponsorship agreement with the NFL. Read more “A Buzz Between Anheuser-Busch and Major League Baseball”
Imagine spending your time writing an article with the hope that it will be published on a popular website. Imagine the thrill when you find out the the website is going to publish your article. You are becoming a trusted source for that particular information. Perhaps you will be able to earn money by granting permission to other publications that want to use part or all of your work. After all, any other publication would have to first get your permission before it could republish your masterpiece.
What happens if another publication does not even care to ask for your permission, and just goes ahead and republishes your work? And what if they send you the following in response to your request for an apology and a meager $130 donation? Read more “But Do You Really Know About Copyright Laws?”
Very talented athletes stand to make more money from off field/court/ice/etc. activities than what they earn based on performing in the trade that they are truly qualified. Agents, attorneys, and marketers attempt to find and negotiate these deals for their athlete clients. Often times, those deals are licensing agreements, or at least contain provisions that grant companies a license to use something of and concerning the athletes.
Many states are currently considering new Right of Publicity legislation, which have the potential to limit athletes’ ability to protect their likeness from being used without receiving just compensation.
In Michigan, the legislature will consider whether video games should receive an unqualified exemption from Right of Publicity claims. If all states passed such a law, athletes would have a very hard time trying to secure millions of dollars from video games manufacturers based on the their use of players’ images and likenesses without their permission.
In New York, proposed legislation not only grants an unqualified exemption on video games, but also greeting cards, games that use multiple personalities, calendars, and t-shirts. Athletes stand to make a lot of money based on the licensing of their attributes for video games, but multiply that many times over when you consider t-shirts and other apparel.
Earlier this week, I talked about trademark bullies, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) concern that the practice of bullying is getting out of hand. Would you file the following lawsuit into the category of bullying?
The Los Angeles Dodgers is giving Brooklyn Burger a hard time about its use of the classic cursive “Brooklyn” lettering made famous by the Brooklyn Dodgers, which was the Dodgers team that existed over 50 years ago, before the team made the switch to L.A. Read more “These Burgers Are Not Made By The Dodgers”
Anyone who has taken 1L Torts class is not surprised that a 4-year-old can be sued in a court of law. In fact, anyone versed in the law might not be shocked and appalled should a 4-year-old be found guilty in a tort action. How could one forget the case of Garratt v. Dailey, where young Brian Daley (age five years, nine months) could have deliberately pulled out a wood and canvas lawn chair from under an adult as she started to sit. If he had realized that to a substantial certainty, the contact or apprehension would result, young Brian would have the intention necessary to make him liable. The case was based on the intentional tort of battery.
But what about in a case of negligence? Read more “A Negligent Act By A 4-Year-Old Riding a Tricycle?”
No one likes a bully, and that includes “trademark bullies.” One definition of “bullying” is, to treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner (synonym = intimidate). So how exactly does one intimidate others with trademarks? Through aggressive litigation tactics by those with power against those with limited resources. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides the following definition:
“A trademark ‘bully’ could be described as a trademark owner that uses its trademark rights to harass and intimidate another business beyond what the law might be reasonably interpreted to allow.”
The USPTO is concerned about this type of bullying. Read more “Trademark Bullies Beware”
When a trading card company uses a professional athlete’s picture on one of its cards, it needs to first have permission from the athlete before printing the cards and selling them to the public for profit. Karim Abdul-Jabbar is ready to put up a fight against the Upper Deck Inc. after the company released cards bearing Abdul-Jabbar’s likeness in its recent “Greats of the Game” card series.
Abdul-Jabbar claims that he never gave permission for Upper Deck to use 6 photos of him, his name, or his signature in conjunction with the new card series. He is currently suing Upper Deck, and he says that he rejected Upper Deck’s requests for his permission to use his likeness in the past. In the lawsuit, Abdul-Jabbar accuses Upper Deck of unjust enrichment and violating unfair competition laws.
Tom Condon, who is an agent in the football division at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), has filed a lawsuit in federal court against former client, Ryan Pickett. Condon claims that Pickett owes the agent $83,600 in unpaid agent fees, and wants the court to confirm and enforce an arbitrator’s order stating such is true. The suit was filed on October 28, 2010 in the Wisconsin Eastern District Court.
Check out the filing at the bottom of this post. I can’t see how Pickett has any shot of winning this. You sign a contract, you expect and receive services you specifically request, and then you refuse to pay the minimal agent fee? C’mon man! Read more “If You Sign An Agency Contract, You Will Have To Pay Your Agent!”
Last night, Google sent out a “mandatory announcement” to all Gmail users in the United States as part of a legal settlement, which was authorized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
The note stipulated that Google has reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Google Buzz, a service Google launched within Gmail in February 2010.
Shortly after Google Buzz’s launch, many Gmail users voiced their concern about potential breach of their privacy. Google ended up being sued by a group of Buzz users, but recently reached a settlement in the case. Read more “Google Buzz Class Action Settlement”
Peer-to-peer music sharing’s glory days are long gone. Napster used to be a favorite for people interested in swapping music with one another for free. It did not take too long for the music industry to see the writing on the wall, and Napster had to completely change the services it offered. Other peer-to-peer start-ups had a similar fate. However, LimeWire seemed to be able to survive for quite a while, even though the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) placed a bullseye right on LimeWire’s face. But those days are over.
On October 26, 2010, the United States District Court Southern District of New York entered a permanent injunction against LimeWire. In order for a court to order a permanent injunction, it must find that, Read more “LimeWire Receives Permanent Injunction”