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Following the “Brexit” vote by the United Kingdom signaling its intent to leave the European Union (EU), there was a rush of speculation and guesswork about how EU trademark and design rights would be treated with respect to the UK after the 2019 Brexit. Brand owners, such as those in the entertainment and media industries, faced uncertainty about whether they needed to make parallel trademark filings in the UK, and what they needed to do protect their rights and their businesses. Most practitioners assumed that some provision would be made to ensure continuity during the transition, but it was largely guesswork at that time.
By Stan Soocher
That U.S. copyright-assignment termination issues are among the most complex in the copyright field becomes even more apparent when attempts to reclaim copyrights involve aspects of international law. Few courts have ruled, however, on the impact of international law on U.S. copyright-assignment terminations. The most recent to do so is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Ennio Morricone Music Inc. v. Bixio Music Group Ltd.
By James H.S. Levine and Douglas D. Herrmann
Some contract provisions will necessarily be customized for use in the particular agreement, while others will be boilerplate. But the intersection of those provisions in a merger agreement involving the acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corp led to a serious dispute— and cautionary tale for the merger-laden entertainment and media industries — about interpretation of the agreement, requiring a Delaware court to determine the impact of potentially conflicting language.
By Brian R. Michalek
In the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Iancu v. Brunetti, Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent cautioned that the decision is likely to pave a path to a “coming rush to register [vulgar, profane, or obscene] trademarks.” The reasoning stems from the court’s majority finding that a portion of 15 U.S.C. §1052 — which had previously prohibited the registering of “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks — is unconstitutional. Practically speaking, however, this “coming rush” will likely not be the case, even via the entertainment industry.
By Greg Land
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit claiming a Florida lawyer failed to follow through on a $75,000 deal to land the late mega-musician Prince for a 2012 gig.