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Posts Tagged: "Michael Jordan"

Lessons from Ice Cube’s Lawsuit Against Stock Trading App in Right of Publicity/Trademark Infringement Case

The multi-talented Ice Cube famously said “It was a good day” in his hit song of the same name. But the hip-hop icon and his team probably weren’t having a good day when they saw a digital ad featuring an image of Ice Cube and an altered version one of his most famous lyrics—that he claims was posted without his knowledge or consent. On March 31, 2021, Ice Cube (also known as O’Shea Jackson, Sr.) filed a lawsuit against Robinhood Financial LLC, and Robinhood Markets, Inc.,  financial services providers, alleging Lanham Act violations as well as violations of  California law, including misappropriation of likeness and unfair competition. He is just the latest celebrity to seek to protect his/her rights of publicity (giving a person commercial control of their name, image and likeness) through legal action. Based on outcomes of well-known cases filed by basketball legend Michael Jordan, film/TV actress Katherine Heigl, and beauty and style mogul Kim Kardashian West, Ice Cube would appear to be on well-trod legal ground in his court battle with the trading app.

Supreme Court Asked to Decide Copyrightable Elements of Iconic Michael Jordan Photograph

Rentmeester is asking the nation’s highest court to answer the question of whether copyright protection for a photograph is limited solely to the photographer’s selection and arrangement of unprotected elements or rather that such protection also covers elements of the photograph that express original creative judgments of the photographer. At issue in this case is an iconic image of basketball superstar Michael Jordan captured by Rentmeester in a 1984 photograph shot for LIFE Magazine. The image, which features Jordan mid-air and flying towards a basketball hoop with his left arm and both legs outstretched, was ranked by TIME Magazine as one of the most influential images of all time.

Iconic Michael Jordan Photograph Not Infringed – Ninth Circuit

The case is interesting, however, not just because it involved famous subjects – a “renowned photographer” (as the Plaintiff was described in the court’s first sentence), a famous brand (Nike) and one its most well-known logos (“Jumpman”), and a photo of one of the most famous people in the world (Michael Jordan) – although these items alone perhaps merit some attention. But for lawyers and those who deal with copyright protection in the business world, perhaps more interesting is the court’s explication of the classic copyright concept of the idea-expression dichotomy, as well as its holding that the photograph at issue, while not infringed, was entitled to broad protection.

Michael Jordan prevails in trademark case, earns right to use Chinese character mark for his name on merchandise

On December 8th, famed basketball star Michael Jordan was partially successful in a legal action filed in Chinese courts over the use of his name and likeness on shoes and sportswear marketed by a domestic Chinese firm. The case is further proof of a major change in the fortunes of foreign intellectual property owners in the highest courts of the world’s second-largest economy. The Jordan trademark suit goes back to 2012 when the suit was filed against Qiaodan Sports, a sportswear manufacturer operating thousands of retail locations in China which was founded in 2000 according to business information reported by Bloomberg.