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[29 Nov 2011 | Comments Off ]
Ultimate Fight for Expression

The usual expression of Ultimate Fighting is tight fitting Affliction t-shirts worn by huge brawny athletes (plentiful at Jersey Shore). Recently Ultimate Fighting Champions (UFC) has entered the ring with New York state. UFC  is suing to overturn New York’s ban on live bouts, saying the 1997 law runs roughshod over its freedom of expression, a novel argument that likens MMA (mix martial arts) to live ballet, music or theater.
“This is the first time to my knowledge that a professional athlete is claiming a First Amendment right to communicate with …

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Cybersquatting in Gap jeans

I can’t tell you how many times I have to remind businesses, young and old, that they must purchase any confusingly similar domains which  bad faith competitors may use to take away their traffic. Known as, cybersquatting, this is a legal violation where someone with bad faith creates a domain in order profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price.(wiki) Fashion and …

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Theft of Victoria’s Secret trade dress

 
Trade dress is the distinctive packaging or design of a product that promotes the product and distinguishes it from other products in the marketplace — for example, the shape of a perfume bottle. Trade dress can be protected under trademark law if a showing can be made that the average consumer would likely be confused as to product origin if another product were allowed to appear in similar dress.
Since 2010 Victoria’s Secret has been fighting to protect the trade dress of its Secret Garden body lotion product line. The battle …

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« Entertainment Law
[5 Oct 2011 | No Comment ]
Pimp My Trademark with Swag Infringement

Usually products have promotional vehicles to publicize their brand, (i.e.Red Bull car) however there is a craze in the hip hop culture of automobile branding. I came across this craze through a discussion in an automobile forum and someone asked whether it was illegal to paint your car with a trademark on it. The federal law that protects trademarks, Lanham Act, states that these hip hop cars could be infringing on the trademarks when they “use the mark in commerce in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution or …

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« Entertainment Law
[22 Sep 2011 | No Comment ]
Aston Martin Music harms Car Brand

 
 
Aston Martin must protect its brand name from Rick Ross’s hit single “Aston Martin Music” (music video seen below). The high end automobile manufacturer’s image of luxury sports cars is usually depicted in upscale show rooms and 007 films. However, Rick Ross’s song has made the exclusive car a now tacky pimpmobile.  Even though High end cars and hip hop go hand in hand, Rick Ross took the relationship to an unprecedented level. He not only named his song after the manufacturer, he demonstrated it as a vehicle to accommodate drug dealing, transport narcotics and  invite Porno …

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« Entertainment Law
[5 Jul 2011 | No Comment ]
Abercrombie’s Woes

Abercrombie and Fitch has always been known for their sexually charged suggestive themes, that’s old news. So is their ability to strike a racial chord, most notably their 2002 t-shirts that had the slogan “Wong Brothers Laundry Service – two Wongs can make it white” and “Abercrombie & Fitch Buddha bash – get your Buddha on the floor.”  These actions have led many to question how they plan to continue marketing products in a world where the dynamics of race are rapidly changing.
Apparently, Abercrombie is singing the same tune again. …

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Time Warner iPad App upsets Viacom

Time Warner Cable seeks a declaratory judgment (what is a DJ) to decide whether the Ipad or “smart televisions” are included as video display devices for subscribers to watch Viacom tv shows. Networks like BET, MTV and Comedy central are all subsidiaries of Viacom, and Time Warner Cable has an affiliate agreement with Viacom which allows them to broadcast those networks.  Viacom is ticked off that Time Warner Cable transmits MTV, BET, CMT shows to its subscribers through an Ipad. Viacom states that Ipads are not what was intended when they permitted Time …

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« Entertainment Law
[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment ]
Leave Kanye West Alone

Small time rapper and songwriter Vince Peters filed a notice of appeal on 3/25/11 to the dismissal of his case against Kanye West. Kanye West raps that he is STRONGER… so could Vince Peters be any WRONGER? Known simply as Vince P, he has become a laughing stock on many entertainment blogs when his copyright infringement suit against Kanye was thrown out earlier this month. Vince alleged that the lyrics in Kanye West’s song “Stronger” are substantially similar to that of his demo song “Stronger.” In 2006, as Vince …

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« Entertainment Law
[21 Feb 2011 | No Comment ]
Rihanna steals from David LaChapelle

Rihanna is being sued for copyright infringement by David LaChapelle. complaint below. LaChapelle is an artist and photographer. If you do not recognize his name, I am sure you know his brassy, hip, and edgy work. (See clip below.) He has helped transform the way pop culture is marketed in print advertisements, commercials, and, for our purposes, music videos. If you watch Rihanna’s music video, S&M, you will see that it has been duplicated and derived from Mr. LaChappelle’s work.
The suit, which asks for at least $1 million in damages, argues that …

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« Entertainment Law
[20 Jan 2011 | 5 Comments ]
Nicki Minaj stop playing with Barbie Dolls

Nicki Minaj is the Hip Hop Barbie. At least she has marketed herself as one. Mattel owns the Barbie toy brand.  I do not understand how Mattel has not taken legal action against Minaj for trademark infringement.  Where are you Mattel? Nicki Minaj has used the Barbie trademark in jewelry, album design, and even artist label. I found absolutely no lawsuit or legal complaint against Nicki Minaj.
Advice to Mattel:  Back in 2008, an underground rapper known as Mista Swissher Sweet, infringed on the a cigar trademark. The mark known …

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