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January 2019 Archives

News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law

  • Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
  • Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
  • Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law

The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.

The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.

Model's $1.1 million jury award for license violation upheld

We have recently been talking in this space about intellectual property licensing. A California Court of Appeal recently decided Olive v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc., an interesting licensing dispute in which the defendant admitted having engaged in activity that violated a license to use a model's photos.

IP licensing goals and protections: Leave no stone unturned

Last week we introduced some basics about intellectual property licensing. In that post, we explained that license agreements facilitate formal relationships between entities that own intellectual property like trademarks or copyrights, and individuals or businesses seeking to license the right to use that property, usually commercially.

Youth theater infringes copyrights in musicals

Student, youth, nonprofit, and local theater companies must be careful to obtain permission and licensing to stage copyrighted plays and musicals. Even performance groups that may think of themselves as amateur or small scale must consider whether they are crossing the line into infringement and should seek advice from an intellectual property attorney to avoid legal liability.

Careful licensing of intellectual property

At our law firm, we advise and represent clients in a wide range of issues regarding intellectual property licensing. In such a license, the owner of intellectual property grants to another person or company the right to use the intellectual property like a trademark, copyright or right of publicity.

Court refuses to dismiss photographer’s copyright claims

At our law firm, we represent photographers and other creative artists in a variety of copyright matters, including negotiating, drafting and reviewing licenses for use of copyrighted materials. We also bring and defend copyright infringement suits.

US high court rejects de Havilland's right of publicity suit

Throughout 2018, we have followed in this space two-time Oscar-winning actor Olivia de Havilland's lawsuit against the creators of FX's docudrama series, Feud: Bette and Joan. On January 7, the U.S. Supreme Court refused without any comment to hear her case, in which the 102-year-old plaintiff sought review of the California Court of Appeal's holding that the series' makers' First Amendment right to expression trumped the actor's right of publicity and claim of defamation.

Judge finds insufficient evidence of DMCA violation

The Internet provides a vast platform on which creative works in written, photographic, film and video formats can be reproduced. Unfortunately, this also creates a bigger universe within which parties can violate copyrights by posting protected works online without permission.

Many copyrighted works lose copyright protection in New Year

On New Year's Day, 2019, hundreds of thousands of creative works will enter the public domain when their copyright protections expire. An article in Smithsonian Magazine explains the interesting phenomena of this massive expiration after 20 years with no copyright releases. 

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