Archive | October 2011

Lady Gaga Sues Over Lady Gaga Trademark

By Alison Parker

Reviewed by Jennifer Williams

Lady Gaga has made it clear time and time again that she will stop at nothing to protect her trademark and image. The pop singer recently filed a lawsuit against Excite Worldwide LLC over its frivolous trademark application. The Nevada-based jewelry and cosmetics company filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to score the rights to use the name “Lady Gaga” and “Lady Gaga LG” for one of their product lines. Her lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

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Jessica Alba Sues the Belly Bandit

By Maria Cheung

Reviewed by Jennifer Williams

Jessica Alba has sued Camden Companies, the maker of the popular Belly Bandits, a weight-loss garment that helps new mothers shed the post-baby weight. Alba is seeking more than one million dollars in damages from the company for using her name, image, likeness and photograph on its website to sell their products without her permission.

According to the lawsuit, Alba’s attorneys initially served Camden with a cease and desist letter in September, but the company did not comply with Alba’s request to take down the materials at issue. Alba’s attorneys claim the company has “prominently featured and posted a photograph of Alba and listed her name under the ‘Celebrity Testimonials’ section of their website.” The company “has knowingly and intentionally misappropriated and used” her to endorse their “post-pregnancy clothing and accessories,” Alba’s lawyers continued to state. The lawsuit filed on October 11, 2011, alleges that the company features a fictitious testimonial from her on their website and has a product that it claims is, “Jessica Alba’s #2 Secret for a Fast Post Pregnancy Slimdown!”

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The Hermès Family’s New Plan

By Maria Cheung

Reviewed by Jennifer Williams

Hermès International’s family shareholders  continue to win important victories in their battle against Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (“LVMH”) and other minority shareholders, after French authorities approved the Hermès  family’s plan to group their shares without having to buy out minority shareholders.  In January, the French market regulator, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (“A.M.F.”), ruled on the legality of the Hermès family’s plan to place more than 50 percent of the company’s shares in a new holding company. Since then, despite multiple appeals, AMF continues to rule in the Hermès family’s favor.

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Were Reebok’s EasyTones An Easy Scam?

By Alison Parker

Reviewed by Jennifer Williams

There’s a fit girl on TV and she’s telling you that you can get fit too–but not by using workout DVDs or going on some crazy diet. All you have to do is wear a pair of Reebok shoes. This girl starts talking science and numbers to prove how legit these shoes are, and she is really convincing. So you go out and buy a pair of Reebok EasyTone sneakers and hit the pavement. Depending on the results from your experience, you may be relieved to know that you can now get a refund from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Reebok and the FTC entered into a $25 million settlement agreement over the EasyTone shoes back in September.

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Occupy Wall Street? How about Occupy NBA

By Ari Rada

Reviewed by Kyu Hee Chu

112 days ago the former Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between NBA owners and NBA players expired resulting in the possible termination of the entire 2011-2012 NBA season.  A similar situation happened back in 1999 when the NBA owners and the NBA players had difficulty compromising on a labor agreement which caused the typical 82 game season to be reduced down to 50 games because of the delay.  The NBA owners and NBA players association (NBAPA) have been negotiating and mediating for the past 112 days regarding what the new labor agreement will be for the next seven to ten years.  In other words, the owners and players are negotiating on how to split revenues generated by the NBA and how much the players can get paid over the next seven to ten years (longer than the average career of an NBA player).  The delay in reaching a new CBA has already resulted in David Stern (NBA commissioner) to cancel the first two weeks of the NBA season, which was originally scheduled to start on November 1st.

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DVD Copying Software Pulled Off Shelves

By Maria Cheung

Reviewed by Jennifer Williams

Real Networks, the company that manufactures RealDVD, a DVD copying software, has agreed to pay $ 4.5 million and to permanently stop selling the software as part of its settlement deal with six major Hollywood film studios. The lawsuit began in 2008, when the film studios sued Real Networks and accused the company of selling software that essentially helped consumers steal the content of various DVDs by enabling the public to copy the DVDs.  The studios probably sued the company for contributory infringement because Real Networks was distributing a device that could materially contribute to the infringement and the company probably had knowledge that the device could be used in an infringing way.

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What’s What With Confidentiality and Non-Competition Agreements?

By Alison Parker

Reviewed by Jennifer Williams

At times, when entering into a business relationship with another party, a contract may require you to disclose certain information you wish to keep secret. A Confidentiality Agreement, also known as a Non-Disclosure Agreement, is a way for you to protect yourself. These binding agreements explicitly lay out terms that ensure you preserve all of your valuable ideas, data, business models, and so forth, from unauthorized third parties when doing business. Depending on the situation, one or both parties may divulge confidential information. Generally speaking, the following should be clearly laid out in your agreement:

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