Celebrity Justice: Celebrity Intellectual Property Archives
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Ohio model Nicole Forni is suing after her lingerie photos were sold, allegedly without her consent, and wound up being used for a variety of pornographic products.

Forni, 23, signed up for an admittedly racy lingerie shoot with photographer Joshua Resnick, but only on the promise that the titillating pics not be used in an "adult-oriented, pornographic, or obscene manner." The New York Post reports that Forni was shocked to find her picture on the cover of erotica e-books and "other adult-photo companies'" websites.

Forni can't wrench her photo back from the gaping maw of the Internet, so what is she hoping to gain?

"The Steve Harvey Show" has been slapped with a $42.3 million lawsuit over allegations that the program stole music owned by the We 3 Kings.

The music publishing company claims that the self-titled show of comedian Steve Harvey used its unlicensed music without its permission and without paying We 3 Kings a dime, reports The Jasmine Brand. We 3 Kings isn't just suing Steve Harvey's show and him personally, the company has also named every single broadcast group and station responsible for airing the allegedly infringing segments.

Does this music theft suit strike any legal chords?

It appears that podcaster Adam Carolla has seized victory from the jaws of the patent troll... or at least a favorable settlement.

As part of the settlement, both the patent troll and Carolla (along with his business partners) agreed to drop claims against each other over use of U.S. Patent No. 8,112,504, describing a "system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence." According to Courthouse News Service, Carolla had raised more than $475,000 for the Save Our Podcasts Legal Defense Fund, which funded Carolla and his podcast entities' legal defense from a patent infringement claim.

As the dust settles on Carolla's bout with the patent troll, what have we learned?

Oil giant ExxonMobil won a small victory in a Texas federal court this week. A judge allowed its trademark dilution claims to proceed against the FXX network over the "XX" design in their logos.

Both ExxonMobil and the FXX network (owned by Fox) feature stylized interlocking Xs in their logos; Exxon is claiming under Texas state law that FXX is watering down the commercial impact of its logo. The Hollywood Reporter notes that FXX already owns the standard trademark to "FXX," claiming this bars any trademark dilution claims against the network.

The federal judge sided with Exxon and allowed the suit to proceed, but why?

Director Terry Gilliam is being sued over a mural in his new movie "Zero Theorem" that street artists claim he lifted from a real-life mural in Argentina.

In a suit filed in federal court in Illinois on Wednesday, a group of street artists (two from Argentina and one from Canada) claim that Gilliam's newest film infringes on a copyright they hold on the "Castillo" mural in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the plaintiffs claim that a mural covering the protagonist's living quarters in "Zero Theorem" is a rip-off of their well known work.

Can you copyright a mural, and if so, did Terry Gilliam infringe on it?

"Top Chef" is apparently going out to sea. In a new celebrity cruise venture called "Top Chef at Sea," contestants from prior seasons are set to compete on various cruise ships. Bravo describes how cruise guests can compete in "Top Chef"-style challenges and attend cooking demonstrations with the "Cheftestants." But according to a lawsuit, this was all someone else's idea.

Three producers are claiming that they cooked up the notion for a reality-show-meets-cruise event, and that both NBC and Bravo burned them.

When is an idea like "Top Chef at Sea" worth suing over?

Film studio Lionsgate has filed a federal lawsuit against "John Does 1-10" following the online leak of an advanced copy of "Expendables 3," due out later this month.

High-quality copies of the film available at several torrent-sharing websites have all been linked back to the same original file. The company first discovered the pirated digital copy on July 24th, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Since then, the file has been downloaded more than a million times.

What does Lionsgate's lawsuit allege, and how do you sue someone if you don't know who they are?

Did A&E make a bad call with its "Duck Dynasty" novelty shirts? A federal lawsuit, filed Tuesday, asserts the cable TV network is running afoul of the law by infringing on another company's registered trademark.

Hajn LLC, based in Florida, claims it's been selling shirts with the slogan "My Favorite Color's Camo" since 2011, and registered the slogan with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But then along came A&E with its "Duck Dynasty"-branded clothes -- some featuring the nearly identical phrase "My Favorite Color Is Camo," which "Uncle Si" Robertson once uttered on the popular show.

Is this enough for a successful infringement suit, or will A&E's lawyers be able to shoot it down in court?

YouTube star Michelle Phan's make-up tutorial channel has more than 6.6 million subscribers and has landed her endorsement deals with big brands like Lancome and legions of dedicated fans.

But it seems record company Ultra Records is not a big fan. The record company -- home to some of the biggest names in electronic music like Deadmau5 and Calvin Harris -- has filed a lawsuit against the make-up artist claiming that the background music on some of her most popular videos was used without permission, reports TMZ.

Does the record label have a legitimate beef with Phan, or will her use of the songs fall under the "fair use" exception to copyright protections?

After having been on the other side of a number of music licensing lawsuits, the Beastie Boys were awarded $1.7 million by a New York jury Thursday in a copyright case of their own against energy-drink company Monster Beverage.

The victory is the second legal triumph for the Beastie Boys this year, after settling a dispute with toymaker Goldieblox over the use of the song "Girls" in a commercial for company's line of toys.

What right were the Beastie Boys fighting for this time around?