Humvee Can't Stop Depictions of Its Vehicles in the 'Call of Duty' Videogame--AM General v. Activision Blizzard

Humvee Can’t Stop Depictions of Its Vehicles in the ‘Call of Duty’ Videogame–AM General v. Activision Blizzard

It has unexpectedly turned into Videogame Law week here at the Technology & Marketing Law blog. This is my third videogame IP blog post this week. See my prior posts on tattoo copyrights and signature moves. All three rulings are…

Ninth Circuit Rallies in Defense of a Parody Dog Toy--Bad Spaniels v. Jack Daniel's

Ninth Circuit Rallies in Defense of a Parody Dog Toy–Bad Spaniels v. Jack Daniel’s

So we are back to litigation over dog chew toys. The case involves the “Bad Spaniels” dog toy, part of a “Silly Squeakers” line from the smartly-branded enterprise “VIP Products.” The dog toy intentionally riffs on the Jack Daniel’s brand…

Videogame Can Replicate Musician's "Signature Move" (Unless It's a False Endorsement, Which It Isn't)--Pellegrino v. Epic Games

Videogame Can Replicate Musician’s “Signature Move” (Unless It’s a False Endorsement, Which It Isn’t)–Pellegrino v. Epic Games

Pellegrino is a saxophone player with “externally rotatable feet,” which has helped him develop a nifty “signature” dance move while playing. The videogame Fortnite sells “emotes,” optional customizations for players’ digital avatars. Pellegrino alleges that the “Phone It In” emote…

Videogame Doesn't Infringe Tattoo Copyright By Depicting Basketball Players--Solid Oak Sketches v. 2K Games

Videogame Doesn’t Infringe Tattoo Copyright By Depicting Basketball Players–Solid Oak Sketches v. 2K Games

This case deals with a venerable and vexing copyright law problem: if a person doesn’t own the copyright to his/her tattoos, do other people infringe by accurately depicting the person? The answer surely has to be “no.” Otherwise, ordinary daily…

Section 230 Protects Classifying Non-Competitive Software as a Threat--Asurvio v. Malwarebytes

Section 230 Protects Classifying Non-Competitive Software as a Threat–Asurvio v. Malwarebytes

Section 230(c)(2)(B) says that filtering software makers aren’t liable for their classification decisions. This proposition provides the legal foundation for the anti-threat software industry. However, those expectations were disrupted by the Ninth Circuit’s 2019 in Enigma v. Malwarebytes, which held…

Redbox's Terms of Use Fail (OUCH)--Wilson v. Redbox

Redbox’s Terms of Use Fail (OUCH)–Wilson v. Redbox

Redbox allegedly sent unwanted texts to Wilson. Wilson sued for TCPA violations. Redbox invoked the arbitration clause in its TOU. The court says the TOU did not properly form and denies the arbitration request. Ouch. Wilson joined Redbox in 2007…

"Material Support for Terrorism" Lawsuit Fails a Third Time--Colon v. Twitter

“Material Support for Terrorism” Lawsuit Fails a Third Time–Colon v. Twitter

This lawsuit alleges that social media providers contributed to the 2016 Pulse Nightclub terrorist attack in Orlando that killed 49 people and injured dozens more. If that sounds familiar, that’s because those facts formed the basis of the Crosby v….

My Third Set of Comments to the CA DOJ on the CCPA Regulations

My Third Set of Comments to the CA DOJ on the CCPA Regulations

California is in a state of emergency. Our state is facing its worst public health crisis in decades (or possibly ever). Yet, the California DOJ is pushing forward its regulations to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). It just reiterated…

Newspaper Can Talk About "Derby Pies" Without Infringing Trademarks--Rupp v. Courier Journal

Newspaper Can Talk About “Derby Pies” Without Infringing Trademarks–Rupp v. Courier Journal

A “derby” is a dictionary noun for a race of three-year-old horses. The most famous derby in the United States is the Kentucky Derby, but the word traces its roots to a 1780 race in England. In 2017, the (Louisville)…

YouTuber Loses Lawsuit Over Channel Termination--Mishiyev v. Alphabet

YouTuber Loses Lawsuit Over Channel Termination–Mishiyev v. Alphabet

Mishiyev, a/k/a “DJ Short-e,” is a YouTuber who claims he had 100M+ views and 250k subscribers. His videos started getting copyright complaints in 2016. He counternoticed those, but he claims he nevertheless saw traffic dropoffs and started making demands of…