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Weekly Issues in the News

By Geisa Balla

One Direction

California band "One Direction" has filed a trademark infringement suit against UK band "One Direction" in the Central District of California. The UK's "One Direction" was discovered on Simon Cowell's show, The X Factor, in 2010. The five members of the band, Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment and Sony Music were named as defendants in the lawsuit. The plaintiff claims that the California band has been using the name "One Direction" since 2009, and has recorded two albums. The band filed a trademark application with the USPTO in February 2011. The UK "One Direction" reached instant stardom after its appearance on The X Factor, and has a much higher profile than the American "One Direction." The lawsuit alleges that Syco and Sony Music "chose to ignore the plaintiff's rights and willfully infringed them" after they realized that the bands shared the same name. The plaintiff in this action is seeking an injunction that would stop Syco and Sony Music from using "One Direction" in promotional materials, treble damages on the profits made by its UK rival, as well as compensatory damages in excess of $1 million. The lawsuit said that the continued use by both bands of the same name was causing "substantial confusion and substantial damage" to the goodwill earned by the California group.


Nike v. Reebok

Nike and Reebok have settled their lawsuit related to the sale of New York Jets football apparel with Tim Tebow's name. Nike first filed a lawsuit against Reebok on March 27, 2012, in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Reebok had no right to sell Tebow-related Jets merchandise as Reebok's licensing agreement with the NFL had expired at the end of February 2012. Pursuant to the settlement, Reebok will halt the sale of the Jets apparel bearing Tebow's name and will offer to buy apparel already shipped to retailers. Nike's exclusive five-year contract to sell apparel for the NFL began on April 1, 2012, and Tebow-Jets merchandise will be available for sale in late April.


Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that it expects to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of April. The Dodgers first filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in June 2011. On March 27, 2012, the Dodgers announced that a group of buyers, led by investment firm Guggenheim Partners and Earvin "Magic" Johnson, had agreed to buy the team for $2 billion. The Dodgers are now filing an amended plan of reorganization, which would provide payments in full to all the allowed claims of creditors. The bankruptcy judge overseeing this case stated that he will confirm the plan to exit Chapter 11.



Apple rejected the U.S. Justice Department's allegations that it colluded with publishers over electronic book pricing. The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five other publishers, claiming that the parties conspired to fix the prices of electronic books. The Justice Department reached a settlement with three of the publishers. Apple is defending its pricing structure. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Apple representative Natalie Kerris stated: "The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry . . . Just as we have allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore".


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 14, 2012 8:40 PM.

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