All intellectual property cases should be a business priority. Experienced IP law attorneys advise small and mid-sized business owners to avoid potential future losses by getting legal help in fortifying IP protection. The following recent intellectual property cases provide insights into how beneficial and potentially lucrative IP protections can be.                                                                                           

Lucky 13 vs. Taylor Swift

In 1991, Blue Sphere trademarked their Lucky 13 clothing brand and made a success of it. Years later, singer Taylor Swift became a household name and happens to consider 13 her lucky number, as evidenced by her Twitter handle @taylorswift13. Swift allegedly ignored Blue Sphere’s IP rights by selling shirts sporting “Lucky 13” and a four-leaf clover. Subsequently, in 2014, she was sued by Blue Sphere in one of the more famous recent intellectual property cases.

Among the twists in this most juicy of intellectual property cases is that Blue Sphere allegedly demanded all videos and photos in which certain of Swift’s body parts were visible to any extent. The final twist in the case came before jury trial proceedings got underway. The parties agreed on terms of a settlement, an amount that has remained undisclosed.

Tattoo Artist v. Blockbuster Movie

The Hangover Part II was once the R-rated comedy movie with the greatest global success of all time, and it currently still ranks #2. After a decadent night in Bangkok, the Ed Helms character, Stu Price, wakes up with the same facial tattoo boxer Mike Tyson has. Before the movie was released, however, the tattoo became a problem. The tattoo creator and artist, S. Victor Whitmill, copyrighted the eight-year-old artwork just prior to the release of the movie. Whitmill sued Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and asked for an injunction delaying the release of the movie. The injunction was denied, but the same judge gave credence to the lawsuit. Ultimately, Whitmill and the movie studio agreed on a settlement with undisclosed terms.

Marvin Gaye’s Heirs vs. Robin Thicke & Pharrell Williams

“Blurred Lines” is a song written by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams that was released in 2013 and sounded quite familiar right out of the gate. Many thought so because similarities are unmistakable between “Blurred Lines” and Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”

A bitter legal battle ensued even as “Blurred Lines,” Thicke’s best success, climbed to be the Number 1 hit on the top 100s tunes chart. The intellectual property case included a lot of creative arguments, including the valid point that you can’t copyright a genre.

One of the most famous of recent intellectual property cases, the conclusion of the matter came about in May 2018. After going through various judgments, the Family of Marvin Gaye was awarded $5.3 million to be paid by Thicke and Williams—no further appeals.

Contact IP Attorney Zachary Hiller

For intellectual property cases and experienced legal help protecting your intellectual property in the Greater Houston Area, contact premier IP specialist and patent attorney Zachary Hiller today.

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