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Bankruptcy Entertainment and Sports Law Intellectual Property Trademarks

Bankruptcy Impact on Trademarks, Distribution Rights

It’s not uncommon for rights licensees in the entertainment industry to find themselves in a rights dispute when a licensor files for bankruptcy.

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It’s not uncommon for rights licensees in the entertainment industry to find themselves in a rights dispute when a licensor files for bankruptcy. Section 365(a) of the Bankruptcy Code allows a Chapter 11 debtor, subject to court approval, to assume or reject any executory contract. While a rejected contract leaves the non-debtor party with a pre-petition damages claim for breach of contract under §365(g), it does not allow it to compel the debtor to continue performing. However, under §365(n), if the contract at issue is one “under which the debtor is a licensor of a right to intellectual property,” the licensee may elect to “retain its rights … to such intellectual property,” thereby preserving its ability to continue using the licensed IP.

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