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Licensing Law

Right of Publicity & Using Celebrities Without Permission

In the U.S., can a company utilize a person’s intellectual property without being under a licensing agreement? The answer: “Yes, sometimes.” While it might seem an anathema for any sensible licensing professional…


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LAWSCAPE

Right of Publicity: Where Does Your State Stand?

The right of publicity comes from state rather than federal law—via statute or common law and, sometimes, both. But there are also 18 states that don’t recognize it. Here’s a state-by-state rundown…


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Entertainment/Character

Licensors Poised to Lose Millions in Royalties

Top entertainment companies like Discovery, CBS, Fox, and NBCUniversal are allegedly facing millions in lost royalties if a planned bankruptcy auction of Delivery Agent…


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Law

Legal Roundup

Dealmakers beware: here are three suits over licensing, from beginning to end.

Featuring: Playboy, Nanette Lepore, Bluestar, and Garan…


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CELEBRITY

What Not to Do: Kardashians Score a Win in Fight Against Licensee

The Kardashian sisters got a pretrial court order barring Haven Beauty from using their names and trademarks—effectively opening the door for new licensees to step in, since the Kardashians want to ultimately terminate their licensing agreement…


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Marketing & Promotions

Fewer Marketing Requirements & Shorter Contact Terms

The percentage of respondents saying that they pay into or require a contribution to a CMF, advertising or marketing campaign has dropped. Meanwhile, the average contract length…


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LICENSING LITIGATION

Licensee Accusation: Asics Deliberately Tried to Drive Us Out of Business

The 20-year retail Asics/Windsor Financial retail licensing agreement that looked so promising just a few years ago has all gone terribly wrong. See what you can do to avoid falling into the same trap…


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LICENSING LAW

Unlicensed Use of Trademark Brands in Video Games

Depicting real-life brands makes video games more realistic but may also lead to trademark infringement litigation…


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Legal

TM Ruling Helps Licensing in China

In a landmark case, Chinese officials recently allowed a foreign company, fashion designer Michael Bastian, to block a third-party squatter from stealing its trademark. No foreigner had ever won one of these cases in China, but after five years of litigation, the Chinese Trade and Arbitration Board rejected the squatter’s registration of the “Michael Bastian” mark, finding it evident that “[the squatter] carried ill intentions”…

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Legal Trap to Avoid: Control Licensee Quality or Risk Losing Your Trademark

A winery’s only quality control is the occasional sip and knowing that the licensee’s winemaker has a “world class reputation” (Barcamerica Int’l USA Trust v. Tyfield Importers, (2002)); A bridal franchise collects no royalties and exerts no control over how licensees run their shops (Eva’s Bridal Ltd. v. Halanick Enterprises Inc., (2011)); An internet network trusts its licensees to police themselves and follow informal guidelines rather than written contractual quality standards (Freecycle Sunnyvalley v. The Freecycle Network, (2010)). These are just three real-life examples of licensors who lost their trademark because they didn’t exercise adequate quality control over their licensees. Here’s a look at the risk of “naked licensing” and what both licensors and licensees should do to manage it. Naked Licensing Law, 101 Although you can let the lawyers… . . . read more


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