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“World of Warcraft” Creator Takes Battle to Court over Game’s Characters

What’s the News? A federal judge in the Northern District of California recently dismissed a complaint in which video game producers claimed that characters from their games had been misappropriated by competing developers, in violation of copyright law. While characters are, in some cases, entitled to copyright protection, the court held that plaintiffs in such cases must state with considerable specificity which characters were allegedly infringed, and why those characters are copyrightable.

Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery? Court Dismisses Video Gamer’s Right of Publicity Claim

What’s the News?  A judge in New Jersey federal district court recently dismissed a lawsuit brought against The Cartoon Network by a renowned video gamer. In particular, the plaintiff claimed in Mitchell v. The Cartoon Network, Civ. No. 15-5668 (D.N.J., November 20, 2015), that the network violated his right of publicity by depicting an animated version of him, without permission, in an episode of The Regular Show. The court, however, disagreed, holding that the network’s representation of the plaintiff was a parody entitled to First Amendment protection.

Defending Design: How Fashion Brands Protect Products with Trade Dress

Fresh from the runway to the front pages of the internet, fashion designs are now instantly available for anyone to examine and copy. However, designers are not without legal protection. Fortune reports that major fashion brands like Tory Burch, Belstaff, Christian Louboutin, Hermès, and Alexander McQueen are successfully utilizing trade dress and design patent laws to defend and protect their creations from pirates.

District Court Gives Go-Ahead to Marilyn Monroe’s Estate on False Endorsement Claim

What’s the News? A federal judge in the Southern District of New York recently held in A.V.E.L.A., Inc. v. Estate of Marilyn Monroe, LLC that the Lanham Act protects rights in a celebrity’s image long after his or her death. Specifically, the court determined that Marilyn Monroe’s estate could proceed with a Lanham Act false endorsement claim against a vintage collectibles licensor who was creating and marketing various products featuring images of the iconic celebrity.

District Court Addresses Trademark Attribution in Manufacturer-Licensee Dispute

Clients often ask whether—and, if so, when—they must use the ® and ™ symbols, or other forms of attribution, when using another company’s trademarks. This question arises in a variety of settings. For example, a company may want to use another’s trademark in order to make a comparative advertising claim, to state that its product is compatible with another company’s product, or to identify a business relationship with another company. The rules for the attribution of another’s trademarks are not cut and dry.

Leading Fashion Law Attorney Anthony Lupo to Discuss Fashion & Design in the Digital Age

On September 18, Arent Fox Fashion Law practice leader Anthony Lupo will present a seminar at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)  during a week-long conference addressing “Copyright, Culture, Art, and Science in the Digital Age.” During the panel discussion, “Hot Topics in Fashion & Design in the Digital Age,” Mr. Lupo will address fashion and design industry issues, including international questions and privacy concerns.

Cheerleader Uniform Designs Eligible for Copyright Protection, Sixth Circuit Rules

In a closely-watched fashion design case, the Sixth Circuit ruled last week that decorative designs on cheerleading uniforms are eligible for copyright protection. The US Copyright Act does not provide protection for functional aspects of clothing. However, it is possible to obtain copyright protection for purely-decorative features of clothing that exist independently of an article’s utilitarian aspects, which is the heart of the issue the Sixth Circuit was grappling with. The 2-1 opinion in Varsity Brands et al. v.

The Start of a New Wearable Brand Battle

Jawbone and Fitbit, both billion-dollar leaders in the “wearable” technology category of fitness bands, are warming up for what may become a test of legal endurance. Jawbone recently filed three lawsuits in three different courts, accusing Fitbit of infringing patents, poaching employees, and stealing trade secrets. Although Fitbit has not yet hit back with its own suit, the two rivals seem poised to start a lengthy legal battle.  

Challenges and Opportunities for International Brands Entering the Brazilian Fashion Market

Arent Fox Intellectual Property partner Cristina Carvalho and head of Arent Fox’s Fashion Law practice Anthony Lupo present, "Challenges and Opportunities for International Brands Entering the Brazilian Fashion Market" in partnership with the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce.

Macy’s Fights to Win Back Allegedly Abandoned Trademarks

What’s the News? Macy’s, Inc. (Macy’s) is currently engaged in litigation to regain ownership of multiple trademarks associated with Macy’s-owned department stores that are no longer in use. Claiming that the marks were abandoned, Strategic Marks, LLC (Strategic Marks) filed applications for — and ultimately obtained rights to — the trademarks in dispute at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).