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Keep it Legal Blog

EA Takes on the Military-Industrial Complex

Electronic Arts (EA) is well known for the lifelike characters and realistic imagery found in its video games. While their state-of-the-art graphics has made them successful, EA is now entering a real-life court battle. Their opponent: Bell Helicopter’s parent corporation Textron. The case involves EA’s use of images of real world helicopters in the game Battlefield 3.

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Banana Battle: Velvet Underground & Warhol’s Common Law Trademark Dispute

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…

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Can I Use a Coldplay Song in my Wedding Video? Ask Tony Romo…

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…

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The Atlanta Braves Meet a Fairytale Princess

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?

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