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Litigation

Cohen Law > Litigation (Page 4)

Black Sabbath Trademark Dispute: Ozzy vs. Iommi

Last year, Anthony “Tommy” Iommi, long-time guitarist for Black Sabbath, and Ozzy Osbourne got in contact with each other about the band. However, this new Black Sabbath collaboration didn’t involve any music. John “Ozzy” Osbourne sued Iommi for trademark infringement in the U.S. District Court (case no. 1:09-cv-04947)Apparently, in 2000, Iommi filed a trademark application with the USPTO, to register the Black Sabbath trademark in his name only. Ozzy’s attorneys caught wind of this trademark hijacking, and filed suit in May of last year. According to the suit Ozzy was “the driving force behind the Black Sabbath band.” But Iommi...

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Lady Gaga Protects Her Trademark and Sues Knockoff Merchandisers

Lady Gaga started her 2010 “Monster Ball” tour with a pre-emptive trademark infringement lawsuit. In the past, non-licensed merchandise vendors were tolerated outside large concerts, so long as they didn’t interfere too much with legitimate merchandise sales. But lately, the music industry is taking greater measures to remain profitable. These cases, known as “John Doe” cases (because of the hundreds of “John Doe’s” named as defendants), are becoming more and more frequent. Lady Gaga’s merchandise company is Bravado International, a division of Universal Music Group. The case was filed under trademark infringement, citing the Lanham Act, unfair competition, and right to...

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Mike Tyson Trademark Fight with Michael Landrum for the Title

Most people recognize “Iron Mike” as a long-standing nickname for Mike Tyson. Apparently, there may have been a previous “Iron Mike.” Michael Wayne Landrum, a small-time L.A. boxer is suing Mike Tyson for trademark infringement to the tune of $115,000,000. The complaint was filed June 28, 2010 in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California (case no. 2:2010-cv-04795).Michael Landrum last boxed in 1985, and included with the complaint is a document from 1996, a letter from the California State Athletic Commission, stating that his “professional ring name was Iron Mike Landrum.” Landrum is suing for Trademark Infringement, and claims...

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Playboy Sues Drake for Copyright Infringement

Hip hop artist Aubrey Drake Graham, aka “Drake” had a hit last year with the song “Best I Ever Had.” But, like many other commercially-successful songs these days, “Best I Ever Had” sampled a previous song. The original song, called “Fallin in Love,” is by 1970’s soft rockers Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds. And interestingly, it’s Playboy Enterprises, Inc. that owns the copyright to “Fallin In Love.” Apparently Drake didn’t get permission to use the song, which for samplers isn’t always necessary. But Playboy just filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Drake.The case is 2:2010-cv-04750A major question is going to...

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Rick Ross Trademark Infringement Suit Against Def Jam and Jay-Z

Ricky Donnell Ross (or ‘Freeway’ Ricky Ross) was an L.A. drug kingpin who was arrested in 1996, and released from federal prison in May 2009. But most people know Rick Ross (sometimes Rick Ro$$) as a rapper from Miami who’s sold millions of records over the past five years or so. Both men have made fortunes, but ‘Freeway’ Ricky’s fortune was short lived – and now he wants it back. He is suing Rick Ro$$ for trademark infringement in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California (case no. 2:10-cv-04528).Rapper Rick Ro$$’s real name is William Leonard Roberts II. He...

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Copyright Litigation May Commence Without First Obtaining Registration

In order to commence a copyright infringement action in federal court, under 17 U.S.C. § 411(a), makes registration of a copyright a prerequisite prior to bringing an infringement suit. But in a May 2010, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit case, Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. v. IAC/Interactive Corp., has held otherwise. The case was an appeal from a U.S. District Court, California Central District case in which Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. sued the Home Shopping Network for copyright infringement involving a necklace. Cosmetic Ideas submitted a copyright application for a necklace, and then sued HSN before getting an official registration from...

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Dr. Dre’s Trademark Cause of Action Gets Dismissed

When hip-hop label Death Row was acquired by WIDEawake in 2009, they promptly decided to re-issue some Death Row greats, most notably Dr. Dre’s 1992 album ‘The Chronic’ in the ‘Re-Lit’ album/DVD set. Dr. Dre was not part of the re-issue process, and quickly sued WIDEawake Entertainment Group, Inc.In the United States District Court for the Central District of California (case no. 10cv01019), Dr. Dre sued for royalties owed, but also for trademark infringement, trademark dilution and false advertising, citing the Lanham Act, among other statutes.But a federal judge threw out the trademark-related portions of the claim last week (with...

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Tommy Burger Trademark Infringement Family Affair

Trademarks are valuable property. Business partners, friends, and even family members can be split over trademark rights. Take the case of Original Tommy’s World Famous Hamburgers here in L.A. When the original Tommy Koulax died in 1992, he left the franchise in the hands of some of his children and relatives. According to an article in today’s Los Angeles Business Journal, one of his children is trying to start up a Tommy’s-inspired company, and apparently breaking some family ties doing it.What made Tommy’s world famous was arguably its chili, not hamburgers. In fact, Tommy’s chili recipe is protected by a...

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Jessica Seinfeld Copyright Infringement Battle Over Cookbook

Last week, a federal appeals court upheld the previous decision of a lower court in the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook case. Jessica (Jerry Seinfeld’s wife) was sued for both trademark and copyright infringement by Missy Chase Lapine, author of “The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals.” Jessica’s book is titled “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food.” See the original lower district’s complaint here. It does seem a bit close for comfort, but two judges have now ruled that Jessica’s book is not a copycat.According to Judges Reena Raggi and Peter...

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Craigslist awarded $1.3 million judgment in copyright infringement case

Last week, Craigslist sent a clear message to sites offering third-party posting software. Powerpostings.com, owned by one Igor Gasov, had been offering customers the ability to post (including multiple postings) and manage ads on Craigslist. Craigslist sued them for copyright infringement, referencing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and trademark law. The defendants didn’t contest, and Craigslist was awarded a $1.3 million judgment.In the past, other companies have offered Craigslist posting software, but Powerpostings took it too far. They also offered listing agents, who would post ads for customers, and they used false email addresses...

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