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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: Hailey Bieber’s Skincare Company 'Rhode' Is Being Haled Into Court to Answer Trademark Infringement Claims by a Fashion Brand of the Same Name

Welcome back to the "Spotlight" – this being the very first and certainly not the last of Summer 2022.  That’s right, folks. Although I expect my readership numbers to swoon to “spouse-and-blood-relative” levels, I will still be the proverbial tree falling in the forest as I churn out the content on the off chance that there will be eyeballs to read it. Although the weather has been unseasonably cool here on the East Coast, temperatures seem to be reaching a metaphorical boiling point for the Washington Commanders’ owner Dan Snyder, as he appears poised to be subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee investigating allegations of rampant workplace misconduct within the Commanders’ organization and a subsequent sham investigation seemingly accepted by the NFL. Should Snyder comply with the subpoena, he will do so on the heels of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell having been grilled yesterday. And if Goodell’s experience is any indication of how intense it could get for Snyder, he better lather up in SPF 100 to withstand the Congressional spotlight. For you all, a kinder, more jovial "Spotlight" follows:    

    • No amount of glowing skin could shield Hailey Bieber’s skincare company Rhode (also Bieber’s middle name) from being haled into court to answer trademark infringement claims by an established fashion brand of the same name (Rhode). Of course, who could forget trademark specialist William Shakespeare’s time-honored words, “a Rhode by any other name would sound as sweet”?

    • Perhaps clearing the way for greater acceptance of cannabis-derived products, Major League Baseball became the first major sports league to allow teams to enter into sponsorship deals with cannabidiol (CBD) companies, provided that the companies’ products are certified by the NSF International as not containing detectable levels of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Translation: OMG the MLB said OK to CBD.

    • South Korean entertainment company and creators of “Baby Shark,” Pinkfong, launches a new NFT project based on (what else?) "Baby Shark." Apologies to those of you whose memories of listening to that song on repeat were just dredged up.   

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments
Blurred Lines: Athlete Investors on Rise as Brands Embrace New Ways to Partner With Sport Stars
June 22, 2022 via City AM
When Anthony Joshua and Dazn announced a new partnership last week, one of the most eye-catching aspects of the deal was that it involved the British heavyweight boxer acquiring a stake in the sports streaming platform.

Once Empowered by Title IX, Female Athletes Are Now Among Big Winners in New NIL Era
June 21, 2022 via Los Angeles Times
An 8-year-old girl grasps the chain on a playground swing. “If you let me play,” she begins. During the rest of Nike’s ad that first aired in 1995, young girls play on a merry-go-round, sit on a swing and throw a softball while a list of statistics show the physical and emotional advantages of playing sports.

Rhode, the Fashion Brand, Is Suing Rhode, Hailey Bieber's Beauty Line
June 21, 2022 via Fashionista
Rhode, the fashion brand co-founded by Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers in 2014, is taking legal action against Hailey Bieber and her skin care line, also Rhode, over its name.

MLB Approves CBD Sponsorships in Landmark Change for Sports Leagues
June 22, 2022 via Sports Business Journal
MLB and its teams are now free to sell CBD sponsorships, a development likely to echo across the industry and open a new sponsorship category in pro sports.

Deshaun Watson’s 20 Settlements May Be Too Late to Dodge NFL Suspension
June 21, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing plaintiffs in 24 lawsuits filed against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for alleged sexual misconduct in massage therapy, announced that 20 of the lawsuits have been tentatively settled.

Oliver Luck and Vince McMahon Settle XFL Breach of Contract Lawsuit
June 20, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck and Vince McMahon have reached a settlement in their federal breach of contract lawsuit. Terms of the settlement are not known. Luck, who was fired for cause as XFL commissioner in April 2020, sued McMahon and Alpha Entertainment for more than $23.8 million.

SEC Fears of Johnson v. NCAA Labor Case Laid Out in Amicus Brief
June 20, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
In the latest sign that Johnson v. NCAA, a federal case which argues college athletes should be paid at least as much as their work-study classmates, is worrying the establishment, the Southeastern Conference and a group of 13 education associations have submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Music Biz  
Music Producer Wins Royalty Bump in Streaming Row
June 21, 2022 via Law 360 (subscription may be required)
A high-profile electronic music producer said his former record company had agreed to meet his demands for higher royalties for online streams to settle their legal battle.

'70s Rockers Say Warner Cuts Musicians' Streaming Royalties
June 17, 2022 via Law 360 (subscription may be required)
Two members of the 1970s pop rock band Orleans have accused Warner Music of intentionally miscalculating royalty rates for digital streaming of recordings and shorting musicians of their proper compensation, according to a proposed class action in Nashville federal court.

Sony Fights to Ax Jimi Hendrix Copyright Case in U.K.
June 17, 2022 via Law 360 (subscription may be required)
The U.K. arm of Sony Music sought to pause a copyright challenge in England over royalties from recordings of Jimi Hendrix songs as they are related to proceedings in the U.S.

Film & TV  
Naomi Osaka Launching Media Company With LeBron James’ SpringHill
June 21, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is getting into the entertainment business, launching a media company in partnership with LeBron James’ and Maverick Carter’s The SpringHill Company.

David Beckham’s Studio 99 Backs Premier League Billionaire Series
June 21, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
David Beckham’s Studio 99 is producing a series on the rise of football’s Premier League billionaires for Paramount+ as the streamer unveils a 5-strong U.K. factual slate that includes shows on luxury yachts, the Loch Ness monster, Simple Minds and strippers in Las Vegas, Deadline reports.

LIV Golf Has Marquee Names and Giant Purses. So Why No TV Deal?
June 16, 2022 via Chicago Tribune
For the Saudi-backed upstart LIV Golf tour, the strategy for luring top golfers like Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson away from the prestige and stability of the PGA Tour was simple: Offer cash, and lots of it.
Game On: Sports Start to Take Over TV’s Biggest Cable Networks
June 16, 2022 via Variety
FX has long been known for iconoclastic dramas like “The Shield” or “The Americans” that feature flawed protagonists and inventive plots. Next year, it may serve up more of those things — but not from scripted series.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)  
Tarantino Tells Court Miramax Has No Right to Block 'Pulp Fiction' NFTs
June 22, 2022 via Reuters
Director Quentin Tarantino has told a Los Angeles federal court that Miramax LLC cannot block his auction of "Pulp Fiction" NFTs, because they are based solely on his screenplay, which he says the studio has no rights to.

Exclusive: French Montana Unveils Plans to Impact Music and Crypto With Web3, NFTs, and Metaverse
June 21, 2022 via Benzinga
Speaking exclusively to Head of PR at ChangeNOW, Mike Ermolaev, 17-time "Billboard Global Top 10" rapper French Montana has made a big announcement on entering the cryptocurrency space – a move that will revolutionize the music, the Web 3, and the NFT ecosystems.

Pinkfong Announces Its First-Ever Generative NFT Project
June 20, 2022 via WILX-TV
The Pinkfong Company, the global entertainment company behind the pop culture phenomenon "Baby Shark," has announced that they will be diving even deeper into NFTs with the release of Baby Shark: Collection No. Two, the first-ever generative art collection of 10,000 unique NFTs featuring Baby Shark and his family, on MakersPlace, the premiere marketplace for digital collectibles.

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The Sports, Arts & Entertainment group at Foster Garvey provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.
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