Spider-Man Swings to Supreme Court

spider web, by flickr user cybershot dude, licensed by Creative Commons

Trapped in a web

If you are a child during the holiday season, there may be no better gift than a brand new Spider-Man toy. However, it appears that a trademark lawsuit may keep some Marvel merchandise off the shelves. A man named Stephen Kimble invented a toy glove that fires silly string, allowing kids to pretend they are the web-slinging hero Spider-Man. Marvel bought the idea and had been paying Kimble royalties from sales, until his patent on the idea ran out. Furious, the inventor filed a lawsuit to overturn a 50-year-old Supreme Court ruling about expiring patents, seemingly forcing Spider-Man to trade in his red-and-blue spandex for a suit and tie. Read more

Satellite Radio Has Serious Problems

Rocktail Beach Camp KZN, by flickr user Jolene Bertoldi, licensed by Creative Commons.

“God I love being a turtle.”

Contrary to popular belief, music is never really free; just ask a musician. The satellite radio company Sirius XM was sued over copyright and trademark laws by a 1960s band called The Turtles. With the passing of federal copyright protection for recorded music in 1972, the royalties for music made before that date have been a hot button issue. The band claims that its’ music was broadcast on satellite radio without any compensation or consent from the creators. A series of lawsuits were filed against both Sirius XM and Pandora Media in New York, Florida, and California, with the band seeking about $100mm worth of damages. Read more

A&E Television Sued For Camo Clothing

camouflage

A&E can’t hide this lawsuit

Calling all Duck Dynasty fans! Everyone who watches the popular TV show is well aware of the famous one-liners made by Si Robertson. A most recent line that A&E decided to capitalize on, has them facing intellectual property lawsuits from a clothing company with a similar product. The most recent “Si saying” that made its way onto several apparel items is, “My favorite color is camo”. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The plaintiff is a company called Hajn, which has been selling a line of apparel that’s branded “My Favorite Color’s Camo.” The company has a registered trademark and reports gaining national visibility with its mark”.

Read More

Slip Up: Banana Lady’s Lawsuits Bear No Fruit

bananas

Crazy? More like going bananas.

Catherine Conrad makes a living as an inspirational speaker, personal motivator, and also delivers singing telegrams dressed in a banana suit.  After several incident with clients which ended up in Ms. Conrad filing multiple lawsuits, it seems the U.S. District Courts have had enough.  A recent ruling against the Wisconsin-native claims that although those who receive the banana-grams take pictures and videos, Catherine has no copyright claim over the over-sized, yellow costume. Previously, she had filed infringement lawsuits of anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000.  A jurist recently declared that her accusations and demands were “without merit” and an “abuse of the legal process”. Read more

Trouble in Texas for Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon

Checkered Flag

Who will win the race?

Sony pictures is filing a trademark lawsuit against “Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon & Restaurant” in Fort Worth, Texas, where scantily clad waitresses are referred to as “Smokin Hotties”. The restaurant is said to be inspired by the 2006 Will Ferrell Film ‘Talladega Nights’ which causes concern for Sony Pictures. The studio has a number of complaints that include, misleading customers about the source of origin for the Ricky Bobby Saloon. According to the suit Sony was not asked permission and is now demanding that that the restaurant pay up.

Read More