Tag: California

Dua Lipa Sued Over Posting Photo of Herself on Instagram

Dua Lipa has been sued by Integral Images, Inc. in district court in California for posting a photo of herself on her Instagram feed.  This is yet another in a string of copyright lawsuits arising out of celebrities (like Khloe Kardashian & Tom Brady) posting images of themselves on social media when they are not the copyright holders of...

Coca-Cola Wins Round II as California Appellate Court Reverses Massive Jury Award

The California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District reversed an almost $10 million jury award against Coca-Cola in Hansen v. Coca-Cola Company in a recent unpublished decision. The dispute arises out of the Hansen’s sodas and juice brand (now owned by Coca-Cola) and a trust composed of the real Hubert Hansen’s descendents who claim...

Mixed Victory for Jackson Estate in Tax Court

On May 3rd, the U.S. Tax Court issued the long-awaited decision in the long-running litigation over the estate taxes owed by the Michael Jackson estate. In a sweeping 253-page opinion (with additional appendices) the Tax Court, clearly cognizant that this opinion will likely be read by many more people than the usual tax decision, quotes...

California Passes Law to Allow Student Athletes to Commercialize Their Identities

Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB206 which requires NCAA member universities to allow student athletes to sign endorsement deals and with agents and attorneys without losing their amateur status. Other states are following California's lead and introducing similar bills, and Congress has introduced a bill in the House along similar lines.  I recently published...

Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 over Social Media Posts

Last week pop sensation Ariana Grande filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 for violation of both her statutory and common law right of publicity under California law, as well as for trademark infringement and false endorsement under the Lanham Act, and a copyright infringement claim. The claims arise out of the use of Grande's identity...

Olivia de Havilland’s Cert. Petition Denied by U.S. Supreme Court

Today, the United States Supreme Court denied review of the California Court of Appeal decision in De Havilland v. FX Networks. This leaves in place the California appellate court's strong decision holding that the First Amendment bars the right of publicity and false light claims de Havilland brought aganst FX arising out of the use of...

Emotional Distress Award Affirmed for Model in California

NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect the withdrawal of the original appelalte opinon and its replacement with one filed on December 27, 2018. The only difference is that the new decision affirmed rather than reversed the trial court's holding with regard to there being no prevailing party for purposes of recovering statutory attorney...

Court Denies Class Certification in Atheletes’ Suit Against Madden NFL Maker

Yesterday, the district court in Davis v. Electronic Arts confirmed its holding that there could not be class certification in the right of publicity case arising from the alleged use of NFL players' identities in the popular sports-themed video game series NFL Madden.  The court rejected the motion to reconsider class certification, concluding that because...

Court Allows Players’ Case Against Madden Video Game to Proceed

The summer did not end well for Electronic Arts (EA), as a district court rejected its summary judgment motion in Davis v. Electronic Arts, allowing the right of publicity claims under California's common law to proceed. The claims arise out of the alleged use of real NFL players' identities as avatars in the Madden NFL...

De Havilland Seeks Review of Feud Decision

Olivia de Havilland's lawyers have filed a petition seeking review in the California Supreme Court of a California Court of Appeal's recent decision holding that the First Amendment bars her false light and right of publicity claims arising out of the use of a character based on her in FX's docudrama Feud. Her lawyers challenge...