Category Archives: Entertainment and Media

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California’s Fair Pay to Play Act: This is Only The First Quarter

We previously wrote about California Senate Bill 206, the “Fair Pay to Play Act,” back in April, and now Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed that bill into law.[1] The law becomes effective on January 1, 2023. After numerous revisions to the bill since our last post, here is a quick look at the final product. … Continue Reading

T.T.A.B. Emphasizes the Fame of the Movie ‘Jaws’ in Its Refusal to Register a Cooking Show’s Mark

On March 16, 2016, the TTAB affirmed the refusals of an applicant’s mark, JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER, for online streaming cooking shows, holding that it is confusingly similar to the registered mark from the movie JAWS. Though the Board will rarely consider the fame of a mark in its du Pont analysis, the fame of … Continue Reading

First Amendment SLAPPs Publicity Right Plaintiff in “Hurt Locker” Case

On February 17, 2016, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal by the Central District of California under the California anti-SLAPP statute of a publicity rights claim against the motion picture “The Hurt Locker.”  The plaintiff, Army Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver, an explosive ordnance disposal technician in Iraq, claimed the film appropriated his life story. Sarver v. … Continue Reading

Are Formats The Floor Mats Of Copyright?

By Edwin Komen On Friday afternoon, June 15, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Allen Feess, Central District of California in Los Angeles, denied CBS Broadcasting’s application for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented ABC from airing the premier broadcast of its new reality series “Glass House”. CBS complained that “Glass House” infringed … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Narrows Claim Construction Options in Game Controller Suit

By Ryan Lindsey and Nick Setty In Thorner v. Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC (Case No. 2011-1114, Feb. 1, 2012) (Moore*, Rader & Aiken (D. Or. sitting by designation)), the Federal Circuit reiterated the prohibition against importing limitations from the specification and reversed a district court construction depending from consistent uses of the disputed phrase in … Continue Reading

Trademarks In The Veldt: Do Virtual Lawyers Dream Of Electric Trademarks?

In Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel, Snow Crash, humans interact as avatars in the “Metaverse,” the collective product of online shared three-dimensional space.[1] As imagined by Stephenson, this “Metaverse” has been created by all virtual worlds[2] – it is an augmented and enhanced physical reality, a physically persistent virtual space.[3] The novel is set … Continue Reading

An Advertising Face-Off: Images and the Right of Publicity

The California Supreme Court heard oral argument on June 3 in an important “right of publicity” case, Christoff v. Nestle USA Inc. Issues included whether the single publication rule applicable to mass communication-based torts applies to right of publicity claims; whether use of another’s likeness on a product label is a “publication” for purposes of … Continue Reading
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