Brexit, the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to leave the European Union (EU), has made headline news in recent months. Brexit is already impacting trademark rights in Europe, including in the sports and entertainment industry.
New UK Filings Required. Trademark rights are conferred on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis. Going forward, brand owners will not be able to rely on a single EU trademark filing to cover the same geographic territory in Europe. In light of Brexit, brand owners now need to file trademark applications in the UK as well as the EU to protect their trademarks in the same geographic territory. For years, separate trademark filings in Norway and Switzerland (and other European countries falling outside the EU) have been required. Brexit adds the UK to the list of countries requiring separate trademark applications in Europe.
After a 112-year hiatus, golf is returning to the XXXI Olympiad at the Olympic golf course, Reserva de Marapendi, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The men’s and women’s individual events, slated to be held on August 11-14, 2016 and August 17-20, 2016, respectively, mark the first time golf has been an Olympic event since the 1904 Summer Olympics. While winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games is typically viewed as reaching the apex of a given sport – see track and field, swimming, wrestling, gymnastics and figure skating as examples, the same is not true of other sports, such as baseball, with its World Series; tennis, with its Grand Slam tournaments; and soccer, with its World Cup. If some recent high-profile declinations of high-profile players, such as Adam Scott of Australia, to compete in the upcoming Olympics is any indication, golf squarely falls in the second camp: the Olympics and the national pride they inspire are of de minimis significance to the most accomplished, world-class golfers in the modern-day sporting era. However, there are many highly accomplished golfers who are enthused about participating in the Summer Olympics and as golf becomes a more established sport in the Olympic schedule, the sport will likely benefit from its return to the Olympic Games.
The ability of tattoo artists to protect themselves from negligence lawsuits got a boost from a recent decision of a New York court. The case of Jackson v. Black Ink Tattoo Studio Inc. drew national interest since the defendants in that case have been featured since 2013 in the VH-1 reality series “Black Ink Crew.” The plaintiff, who claimed that she traveled all the way from North Carolina just to receive a tattoo from Black Ink in New York City, claimed to have experienced scarring from the application of the tattoo. Black Ink, who denied the plaintiff’s condition resulted from Black Ink’s work, requires all of its customers to sign a consent form that provides, in part, as follows:
Stephen G. Rickershauser, a law student at Brooklyn Law School, is GSB's spring 2016 legal extern working out of its New York office.
What rights based in copyright law does a tattoo artist have in a tattoo itself, and to what extent can an artist use those rights to restrict the rights of others, including the people whose skin has been inked?
In February, Solid Oak Sketches LLC, a company holding the copyrights to eight NBA players’ tattoos, sued the videogame makers of NBA 2K16 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Complaint alleged that the videogame makers, Take Two Interactive Software Inc., infringed on the company’s right to license its copyrights in the tattoo designs when the videogame maker depicted the tattoos in its recent game without the company’s permission.
Some sports equipment inventions can have a huge impact on safety. In one example, an inventor found a way to improve safety for a skateboard, and, with this new design, the inventor founded a growing and thriving business. Fortunately, he was wise enough to protect the design through timely filing of a patent application
Benjamin Riesenberg is a former Garvey Schubert Barer legal extern who worked out of the firm’s New York office. He was a law student at Brooklyn Law School.
As the popularity of fantasy sports grows, so do the legal issues surrounding the industry. The main legal challenges facing fantasy sports have been centered on the issue of whether pay-to-play fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling. In 2006, Congress passed The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (“UIGEA”), which created certain guidelines for fantasy sports. For a pay-to-play fantasy sports contest to be legal under the UIGEA, the fantasy sports game must have a result that is predominantly based on the knowledge of participants as opposed to mere chance.
We have written in the past about patents in the entertainment field, such as one received by the entertainer Michael Jackson for a shoe for his moonwalking. Patents in the entertainment field can also be directed to devices related to musical instruments, such as tuners or supports, or even new ways of recording. But as the Internet and mobile devices have become more prolific, uses of the Internet and mobile devices lend themselves to new entertainment-related ideas and implementations. Generally, these ideas and implementations have been related to music artists, but these technological developments lend themselves to improvements for fans as well.
Kristyn Fields is a former Garvey Schubert Barer legal extern who worked out of the firm's New York office. She was a law student at Brooklyn Law School.
Since the Aereo case, the debate over whether online television services should be regulated in the same way that cable providers are rages on in California federal court, with the recent case against the streaming service FilmOn X (“FilmOn”). FilmOn is facing copyright infringement claims from television networks and countering those claims by asserting that it is eligible for the same compulsory license as other broadcast providers. On July 16, 2015, Judge George Wu agreed with FilmOn’s defense, ruling that the company should be treated as a traditional cable provider and is entitled to a Section 111 compulsory license.
Descending into the atrium of the tower bearing his name, Donald Trump prepared to announce his candidacy for president. Blaring above the reporters’ din, Neil Young’s ferociously populist 1989 “Rockin’ in the Free World” ripped through the speakers.
The content of Trump’s announcement raised hackles in at least two countries. Among the incensed was Young himself—icon of the anti-war movement and avowed Bernie Sanders supporter—who had not consented to Trump’s use of his famous rock anthem.
As boyfriends, girlfriends and the curious-the-world-over google “how to get to the dark web” and “Ashley Madison” in order to find the data dump the Impact Group unleashed on the “dark web” late Monday night, we thought it was a good time to remind the teams that service entertainers and athletes what they can do when your client’s private moments find their way to the very public Internet.
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.