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Complaint: Call of Duty Video Game Infringes Trademarks by Pervasively Featuring Humvees

In a complaint filed yesterday, the makers of Humvee branded vehicles (AM General) accused the makers of the Call of Duty video games of trademark infringement (and of related violations) because the games prominently feature Humvees: Defendants have used and continue to use AM General’s trademarks and trade dress in advertising and promotion of their … Continue Reading

For Appeal Argument Tomorrow, Ezekiel Elliott and NFL Dispute Whether Missing Games is “Irreparable Harm”

At 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, the Second Circuit will hear arguments on a motion from the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) to stay pending appeal Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension arising from a domestic violence incident.  Judge Failla refused to preliminarily enjoin the suspension, but the Second Circuit granted an administrative stay so it could consider … Continue Reading

Judge Failla Refuses to Preliminarily Enjoin Ezekiel Elliott Suspension

In an opinion this evening, Judge Failla denied a motion from the NFL Players Association (“NFLPLA”), on behalf of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, to preliminarily enjoin his six-game suspension arising from a domestic violence incident. Judge Failla ruled that the NFLPA was unlikely to ultimately prove that the arbitral proceedings leading to the suspension … Continue Reading

In Case Over Spoiled Strawberries, Judge Forrest Offers to Try Case on the Papers

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Forrest denied “dueling” motions for summary judgment in case over the shipment of allegedly spoiled strawberries, yet she at the same time observed that there were “serious questions as to whether it is worth incurring the expense of a trial,” given that “the amount in controversy is less than $100,000.”  … Continue Reading

Judge Crotty Grants TRO Halting Suspension of Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott

In a short Order this evening, Judge Crotty (sitting in Part I for Judge Failla), granted the NFL Players Association a TRO to place on hold the six-game suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. The ruling explains that, absent a TRO, “Mr. Elliott would suffer irreparable harm because he stands to miss more than one-third of the … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Throws Out Case Alleging Government Fabricated Evidence for Hedge Fund Raid, Leading to Fund’s Collapse

In an opinion today, the Second Circuit reversed a ruling by Judge Pauley (see our prior coverage here) that had allowed hedge fund manager David Ganek to proceed with claims against the U.S. Attorney and various other government officials over a raid that led to the collapse of his hedge fund, Level Global.  Mr. Ganek had alleged, in … Continue Reading

Judge Pauley: Parties Cannot Settle FLSA Case Under “Shroud of Secrecy”

In an opinion last week, Judge Pauley refused to allow the parties in an FLSA case to redact portions of a Settlement Agreement, and further refused to approve the settlement itself. Judge Pauley found that the presumption of public access to judicial documents was fundamentally at odds with the parties’ attempt to settle under a “shroud … Continue Reading

Judge Forrest Tosses Suit Challenging Alleged City Policy to “Stop All Pedicabs”

This week, Judge Forrest dismissed an action by New York City pedicab drivers challenging city policies towards pedicabs as unconstitutional.  The drivers claimed that NYPD officers were given instructions “from above” to “stop all pedicabs,” which resulted in unwarranted inspections, checkpoints, and fines. Judge Forrest found that the plaintiffs failed to allege a colorable Fourth Amendment claim:… Continue Reading

Judge Castel Upholds New York’s “Ballot Selfie Ban” After Bench Trial

Today, Judge Castel formally upheld New York State’s “ballot selfie ban” at the conclusion of a bench trial.  The ruling comes after Judge Castel denied a preliminary injunction shortly before the November 2016 election (see our previous coverage here). Considering whether the law violated the First Amendment, Judge Castel found that the law survived strict scrutiny because … Continue Reading

Judge Failla: Law Schools Steered Students Away From Bar Exam Prep Company On Merits, Not Because Schools Colluded With Barbri

In an opinion today, Judge Failla dismissed entirely a case brought by a bar exam company referred to as “LBE” that specializes in students with LL.M. degrees.  LBE accused the industry leader, Barbi, of colluding with law schools nationwide to harm its business, but LBE’s own complaint — 78 pages long and with 63 exhibits — actually … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Revives “Small Group Defamation” Claim By Fraternity Against Rolling Stone

In an opinion this week by Judge Forrest (sitting by designation), the Second Circuit reversed in part Judge Castel’s dismissal (covered here) of claims brought by a University of Virginia fraternity against Rolling Stone magazine over a widely discredit article telling the story of a source named “Jackie” being gang raped at a fraternity party. The Second … Continue Reading

Playwright Prevails in Challenge to Parody of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

Last week, Judge Hellerstein ruled that a parody of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” constituted fair use and did not infringe on the defendant’s copyright or related trademarks.  The plaintiff, New York playwright Matthew Lombardo, brought the suit against Dr. Seuss Enterprises over his “one actress 75-minute comedic play featuring a rather down-and-out 45 year-old … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff: “KinderGuides” to Literature Infringe Copyrights of Original Works

In an opinion last week, Judge Rakoff ruled that children’s illustrated versions of classic novels called “KinderGuides” infringed the copyrights associated with the original works.  He rejected the defendants’ arguments that the removal of adults themes and addition of commentary rendered the publishing of the Guides “fair use”:… Continue Reading

Judge Cote: First Verse of “We Shall Overcome” Not an Original Work Subject to Copyright

Last week, Judge Cote granted a motion for summary judgment challenging the copyright for the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.”  Plaintiffs, the We Shall Overcome Foundation, argued that the similarities between the copyrighted song and a 1948 version in the public domain meant that the first verse of the famous song was not sufficiently original … Continue Reading

Judge Sweet: Lynyrd Skynyrd Movie Cannot Proceed

In an opinion this week, Judge Sweet granted a permanent injunction against a film depicting the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, finding that it violated a 1988 consent order limiting the use of the band’s name and songs.  The agreement, originally overseen by Judge Sweet, was entered into by surviving family and band members from a 1977 … Continue Reading

Judge Forrest: Fact That Complaint Exposes Book By Former Fox News Host as Ghostwritten Is Not Grounds For Sealing

In an opinion unsealed last week, Judge Forrest ruled that a suit by the alleged ghostwriter of former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros’ book Tied Up in Knots could not stay sealed, merely because the revelation that there was a ghostwriter could cause Tarantos “humiliation”: Defendant argues that, as a well-known television journalist, her credibility … Continue Reading
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