The Estate of Marilyn Monroe: A New Win for Celebrity Trademarks

Since Marilyn Monroe’s mysterious death, her estate (Monroe Estate) has fought aggressively to protect its intellectual property rights. Despite denial of post-mortem publicity rights in California, the Monroe Estate has continued to litigate in other jurisdictions. Recently, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York held that the Monroe Estate could proceed…

Yelp’s Battle against Star Sellers

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What are you really agreeing to when you log in to your favorite website? Most of us simply click through the various Terms of Service agreements without a second thought and, in most instances, there is no cause for concern. But a recent lawsuit filed by Yelp, Inc., raises interesting questions about how we, as…

Legal context of Jay-Z’s investment in Tidal: Some Observations

On March 30, Jay-Z led a group of famous music artists, including Beyoncé, Kanye West and leaders of Arcade Fire, to take ownership in an emerging music streaming service called Tidal. Tidal distinguishes itself by promising loss-less streaming (i.e. the highest sound quality possible), and a better remuneration for music artists. Jay-Z’s involvement in Tidal…

Taylor Swift: The Attack of Celebrity Trademarks

Not surprisingly, some of the most outlandish trademarks in history are associated with celebrities. (Notable trademark protections include Paris Hilton’s catchphrase “that’s hot,” rapper Curtis Jackson’s stage name, “50 Cent,” and NFL player, Tim Tebow’s famous “Tebowing” pose.) Nevertheless, while trademarks are relatively common within Hollywood, Taylor Swift’s attempt to trademark her own lyrics is…