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Topps Releases the Monster of All NFTs

Collectibles Leader Topps Digital Issuing Godzilla NFT Collectibles on March 31 If you’ve been reading a lot about NFTs and were wondering when it would hit the world of licensing … it already has, as collectibles firm Topps Digital continues to introduce exciting new products on the WAX Blockchain. Tomorrow, on March 31, Topps will conintue to build on its reputation as one of the first innovators in digital collectibles, celebrating Toho’s iconic franchise by bringing the studio’s classic monsters, including the King of the Monsters, Godzilla, to the modern platform of NFTs via the WAX blockchain. Topps has been the preeminent creator and innovator of physical cards and digital collectibles for more than 70 years,. Generations of fans have enjoyed the pleasure of collecting, trading and showing off their card collections,… . . . read more

Brands Cut Ties With Vlog Squad’s David Dobrik Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief At least 10 companies have dropped all ties with popular YouTube star David Dobrik and his troupe of video pranksters the ‘Vlog Squad’ after a Business Insider report chronicled allegations of sexual misconduct. Dobrik is a comedian who pranks the unwary in Los Angeles with his Vlog Squad, and garnered millions of Youtube views. He put the show on hiatus during the pandemic and worked instead on the social media app Dispo, which has also removed him from the organization. At least 10 companies have cut ties with Dobrik, including HelloFresh, SeatGeek, Dollar Shave Club, EA Sports, DoorDash, General Mills, HBO Max, Facebook, and Audible. The report is an absolute bombshell in the world of branding and licensing, involving two separate allegations of sexual misconduct…. . . . read more

Spotify Removes K-Pop Songs in Licensing Debacle

If you’re a big K-pop fan with a Spotify account, you’re probably not too happy today. Thanks to a breakdown in licensing talks, songs from some of the world’s biggest K-pop stars have vanished from Spotify’s music library after talks between the streamer and Korean distributor Kakao M hit a brick wall. Some of the acts affected include many of Korea’s most popular acts, including Seventeen, MonstaX, Mamamoo, (G)I-DLE and IU. The issue was first noticed on March 1 (Korean time) as Spotify users around the world first noticed that many K-pop songs were no longer available to them on the platform. Some artists’ entire catalogs disappeared without warning from Spotify, while other artists saw some of their songs remain. Later the same day Spotify announced that its licensing agreement… . . . read more

Google Gives Ground in War Over Who Pays For News

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief US tech giant Google has announced a new policy to pay for some licensed news content in the UK, after coming under intense fire in Europe and Australia for allegedly profiting from news content without compensating the news organizations that produce that content. Google is now faced with new legislation that could force it to pay massive sums to news organizations, in return for posting their content as search results. While the outcome is uncertain, Google and fellow tech giants like Facebook are fighting hard to prevent governments from forcing them to pay for the news content they are serving up through their respective platforms. In doing so, it appears Google is now giving up some ground, and trying to work with news… . . . read more

Under Armour Ending Licensing Deal With NFL

Sports clothing and equipment company Under Armour is preparing to end its licensing contract with the National Football League, according to a report in the Financial Times. Under Armour has not officially confirmed the contract termination, but the Financial Times reported this week the deal will end later this year. The company’s licensing deal with the NFL allowed the brand to be displayed on accessories such as gloves and boots during games. The arrangement has been somewhat awkward over the past week, as Nike is the official supplier of uniforms and apparel for the NFL, but Under Armour has a licensing agreement with Tom Brady, who took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an historic Super Bowl victory on Sunday. During a post-game interview, Brady courted some controversy as some sports… . . . read more

TikTok And Universal Expand Their Musical Alliance

Universal Music Group (UMG) has entered into a landmark agreement with TikTok that will continue its transformation of the way music is marketed and sold. As earlier reported in The Licensing Letter, TikTok has entered into a number of music licensing agreements with publishers that allow its users to combine popular song tracks with their short videos on the social media platform. TikTok even offers a way to purchase music, creating a new and lucrative sector for the music industry that has already seen a number of songs climbing the charts because of their exposure on the popular platform. A stunning example of the power of TikTok to promote music can be seen in the experience of actress Olivia Rodrigo (pictured above), whose debut hit Driver’s License inspired countless videos on TikTok,… . . . read more

BBC Adopts Brainbase Licensing Tech for Bluey Franchise

BBC Studios has announced a partnership with Brainbase to use that company’s software for end-to-end IP management, and will initially use the technology for its breakout hit Bluey. The BBC says Brainbase Assist will be used to streamline and manage their global licensing business for the popular kid’s show Bluey, which airs in the U.S. on Disney Junior and Disney Channel and is available to stream on Disney+. “We are ecstatic to welcome BBC Studios to the Brainbase family,” said Brainbase co-founder and CEO Nate Cavanaugh, who was recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2021. “Our team is excited to see Bluey’s consumer products come to life on our platform, and to provide best-in-class technology to support their globally-recognized IP and rapidly growing consumer products business.”… . . . read more

Licensing Legal Dispute Ended By Settlement

Two toy companies have peacefully resolved their licensing dispute after the parties recently obtained a ruling in court. The two companies have released a joint statement saying in part, “GennComm LLC (“GennComm”) and Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company (“BHTB”) are pleased to announce that they have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution of long-pending intellectual property disputes concerning the design, use, and ownership to certain memory foam in plush toys, including Squeezamals.” GenComm and BHTB were locked in a court battle beginning March 26, 2020, which concluded with a ruling from Judge Cormac J. Carney. The court summary declared that “BHTB’s claims for declaratory relief are dismissed with prejudice, GennComm’s counterclaims for breach of contract are dismissed with prejudice … (and) Judgment is entered for GennComm on its counterclaim for infringement.”… . . . read more

Legal

Legal Watch: Sears & Patagonia File Suit, SCOTUS Reevaluates TM Law

Sears and Patagonia file suit; plus, we break down what’s behind the latest Supreme Court case that could potentially open the door for “immoral” and “scandalous” marks to gain federal protection…


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Legal

Legal Tracker: Anti-competition & Trademark Registration Edition

We break down the trademark application issues plaguing Warner Bros. and Olivia Jade; plus, the EU fines Nike and Urban Outfitters is sued by Eris over its gender-neutral mark…


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