February 1, 2012
The Velvet Underground, a seminal underground rock band from the 1960s, recently filed a trademark and unfair competition lawsuit (link opens to a PDF) against the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Andy Warhol Foundation has been licensing an image, which Andy Warhol drew in 1966, for use on various products – the same banana image that was on the cover of the Velvet Underground’s first album, The Velvet Underground and Nico. The complaint by the band demands damages for trademark infringement and unfair competition and a declaratory judgment that states the Warhol Foundation does not have a…
January 25, 2012
When the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wedding video, set to Coldplay’s song “Fix You,” went viral on YouTube, the videographer, Joe Simon Wedding Films, thought it would be great publicity for his business. Instead, Joe Simon was threatened with a $150,000 lawsuit for not having purchased a license for the music rights. He quickly and quietly settled the lawsuit. His company and many other wedding videographers proceeded to take down their work from the Internet for fear of similar lawsuits. From a technical standpoint, it’s clear that Simon violated a basic principle of copyright law by using the song…
January 18, 2012
The Atlanta National League Baseball Club, which owns the Atlanta Braves, has filed “a formal objection” to Disney’s application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the word BRAVE as a trademark. Disney’s Pixar division is promoting their movie Brave, which is set to be released in June 2012. The film is about a Scottish princess who must use her archery skills to save her kingdom from an evil curse. Where do the parties stand, and will anyone confuse a story about a fairytale princess with a group of baseball players in Georgia?
January 11, 2012
This topic came up during a recent stroll through the mall with my fiancee. We noticed a store billing itself as U.S. Polo Assn. Their products appeared to be preppy-style casual clothing for men and women, with a prominent logo featuring two polo players on horseback. Where have I seen something like this before?