Taylor Cannot Swiftly Escape This Lawsuit

Copying a song?

A 2017 copyright lawsuit in reference to Taylor Swift’s popular hit “Shake It Off” is going back down to the US District Court level for further proceedings.  Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued Swift for her lyric “players gonna play…haters gonna hate.”  According to Hall and Butler’s claim, Swift allegedly stole the line from a 2001 song they wrote entitled “Playas Gon’ Play” for the music group 3LW.  When the 2017 lawsuit was dismissed, a judge ruled that the original 2001 lyric was “too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative to warrant protection under the Copyright Act.”  A recent panel of three judges, however, disagreed with that reasoning, and were in favor of the plaintiffs’ appeal. Read more

National Park Causes National Turmoil

The weight of a name

Located in California’s breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is home to gigantic sequoia trees, granite cliffs, and impeccable landscapes.  In addition to these attractive tourist spots, the iconic national park has also been the subject of legal trouble since 2015.  Delaware North Companies Inc had maintained park property operations since 1993 until it was outbid by Aramark.  As part of the concessionaire’s transition into their new role, Aramark changed the names of several attractions and hotels.  In the lawsuit, Delaware North claims that Aramark should have had to uphold terms that were required when Delaware North began operations in 1993, which was to purchase the previous facilities operator’s intellectual property rights of the names.  As compensation for this intellectual property dispute, Delaware North was looking to collect $50,000 million. Read more

If the Sandal Was on the Other Foot, You Would Sue Too

Fashion is fierce

Bernardo is a household name for luxury designer footwear.  Currently, this company has made a name for itself as “plaintiff” in several patent infringement lawsuits, centering around the design of their ornamental thong sandals.  Since obtaining the patent in 2008, Bernardo and its parent company JPT Group have filed eleven lawsuits against other shoe and lifestyle brand companies.  Some of the eleven companies Bernardo has taken legal action against are Old Navy, Famous Footwear, Balenciaga, and Pedro Garcia.  Most recently, the company has accused Tory Burch of infringing upon their intellectual property rights.  In particular, the Tory Burch Emmy Pearl Sandal closely resembles the design of the Bernardo thong sandal.   Read more

Things Get Stranger: Man Sues Netflix

There’s a storm coming

Netflix has had tons of success in the last few years, rising from the ashes to become a technology powerhouse. The business model is a low cost, subscription-based service providing content to consumers who love their tv shows and movies. One of the most successful pieces of original content is the Netflix-original Stranger Things, a sci-fi / fantasy series about kids in the 1980s who experience (you guessed it) “strange things”. Even stranger is that the now famous images used to promote the show, which an ominous thunderstorm system moving through the clouds, allegedly infringes on a Montana photographer’s copyright. As such, he is taking Netflix to court and seeking damages regarding this misuse of his image. Read more

A&E Television Sued For Camo Clothing

Lawsuit dynasty

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