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By Virtuoso Legal


IP Top 10 June 2020: adidas vs. Nike Long Running Dispute Races Toward Finish Line

With 2020 halfway through (phew!) and the world becoming increasingly remote and online, more businesses are getting closely acquainted with their IP.

In June’s edition of the IP Top 10, you will find that Jay-Z and Beyonce face a copyright lawsuit, President Trump has had a video removed from social media, Google faces a $57million fine for breaching data protection and more.

So let’s not waste any time and get started.


Everything *Isn't* Love as Jay Z and Beyonce Face Copyright Lawsuit

Jay Z and Beyonce are facing a lawsuit for their recent track “Black Effect” from their “Everything Is Love” album after Jamaican choreographer Dr Stines called the couple out for allegedly recording her vocals without permission or credit.

According to the lawsuit filed, close to 20% of her vocals have been compromised in the recording.

For more on this case, Billboard has the latest


French court upholds Google’s $57million GDPR Fine

A top French court shut down Google’s appeal of a $57million (£50million) fine that the technology giants received last year for violations to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

This comes due to Google failing to “Provide users with transparent and understandable information on its data use policies.”

For those still hemming and hawing about GDPR, this is certainly a wake-up call.

For more, Compliance Week has the latest.


Facebook, Twitter and Instagram remove President Trump’s video Over Copyright Claim

President Trump shared a video across his social media channels relating to the latest ongoings in America.

However, after including a clip of a toddler in the video the parent of the child filed a copyright claim.

The video was then removed from all social media websites, causing quite the stir.

Whilst the President has been proven to be quite the savvy licensor in the past - this faux pas represents a continued resistance from many quarters (including Neil Young) in use of copyright material in Trump's reelection campaign.

The Independent has more on this case.


Toys “R” Us Successful in Depreciation of Goodwill Claim Against “Herbs R Us”

A Candian Court has granted Toys "R" Us judgement against a cannabis operator who had been using “Herbs 'R' Us” as a brand.

Toys "R" Us successfully brought enforcement proceedings to the Federal Court, alleging “depreciation of goodwill” in its registered trade marks.

It is quite common to see parody style brands in this arena - however, the consequences for "Herbs" were not particularly humorous as the judge had ordered them to destroy any goods, packing, labels and advertising material bearing the infringing mark.

For more on this case, Global News has the latest.


Google countersues Sonos, adds fuel to intellectual property feud

Back in January Sonos sued Google due to patent infringement, but now, Google responded with a claim of their own.

Google has now filed for patent infringement against Sonos - on the basis of a range of technologies employed in their home speaker systems.

This adds even more fire to the IP feud between the two technology companies.

What was a tentative partnership between the companies has appeared to go sour as a result - perhaps these claims will bring the companies around the negotiating table?

For more on this case, Yahoo! Finance has the latest.


Travis Scott accused of Copyright Infringement in lawsuit:

Travis Scott has been sued for alleged copyright infringement on his US No.1 single, “Highest in the Room”

Musicians and Producers Oliver Bassil, Benjamin Lasnier and Lukas Benjamin Leth claimed that a melody in the track is a plagiarised guitar melody used on their own song, “Cartier.”

For many musical artists operating at the highest-level today copyright claims are commonplace and representative of a much smaller quotient of original ideas available.

Perhaps notable here is the Claimant's lawyer Richard S. Busch, who had represented musical artists in a host of similar claims in recent years.

For more on this case, Music Business Worldwide has the latest.


Marvel Challenged by Wanda Group Over WandaVision Trademark

Marvel has been challenged by Hong Kong company Wanda Group over a trade mark for "WandaVision".

The trade mark in question from Marvel was to trade mark the upcoming Disney+ series, however, The Wanda Group has sought to oppose the trade mark on the basis of their own mark which has a particularly wide specification.

A lack of suggestion from Marvel about any delay or change to the name suggests that the expectation is that this may be resolved prior to the series' release.

For the latest on the case, Comic Book has more.


Amazon Sued For Copyright Infringement Over four unlicensed Films On Prime 

Amazin has received a claim relating to the distribution of four films on their Amazon Prime video service without appropriate licenses.

The Claimant Ralf Hartmann alleges that he purchased rights to various films from Capella Films, Inc. and some of these films had then appeared on the platform without his authorization.

Music streaming services such as Spotify have been noted to have encountered issues such as this in the past. But this is the first time we have noted that one of the major video streaming services has been hit with such a case.

For more on this case, Law Street Media has the latest.


Under Armour wards off infringer "Uncle Martian" in China's highest court

Under Armor has received a positive judgment in China's Supreme People's Court in relation to a trade mark infringement claim.

Under Armour had complained that the infringer's mark was too close to their own, and had received a positive judgment to that effect in 2017.

After the conclusion of a lengthy appeal which eventually had reached China's highest court - Under Armour will be buoyed by the result which will help their continued expansion in a key market.

Securing Industry has more here.


Nike and adidas knitted footwear long-running dispute all tied up (for now)

The latest bout in the patent dispute between Nike and adidas surrounding knitted footwear has drawn to a conclusion.

An initial decision to block the invalidation of claims in Nike's patents in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board was granted - this has since been followed by confirmation by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

This latest outcome represents the most recent head to head in a long-running dispute between the German and US footwear producers.

The Fashion Law has an in-depth report here.

And that's it for our IP Top 10 this month! To speak to any of our team of intellectual property specialists, use the contact form below, or ring the number at the top of the page. Until next time!

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