Celebrity Justice: Celebrity Intellectual Property Archives
Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

Recently in Celebrity Intellectual Property Category

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?

Director Spike Lee has been sued in federal court by a movie poster artist for copyright infringement, claiming Lee used his poster design for "Oldboy" without permission.

Juan Luis Garcia, who says he worked on posters for "The Great Gatsby," "12 Years a Slave," and "Lincoln," alleges that Lee used his artwork for the movie "Oldboy" without permission or pay, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

What does Garcia have to back up his copyright infringement claim?

Elizabeth Banks' "Walk of Shame" is getting her sued. An indie producer is fighting Banks in court, accusing her of stealing the recently released comedy from him.

"Walk of Shame" is hardly a smash hit, but did Banks steal the movie idea?

'Gravity' Lawsuit: Author Tess Gerritsen Seeks $10M From Warner Bros.

Things are looking grave for Dr. Ryan Stone -- now the studio behind her movie is being sued by author Tess Gerritsen.

The poor, fictional lady has the worst luck ever. First her daughter falls and dies. Then she goes up in space and gets pelted by rocks. Her studly astronaut buddy drifts off into the black abyss and leaves her stranded and alone in the void. Satellite after satellite poops out on her. She crash lands in a lake. The landing pod catches on fire. She almost drowns. She fights off a shark. She wades up on shore only to be met by the North Korean Army. Now this.

What is Gerritsen's "Gravity" lawsuit about?

Katherine Heigl Sues Duane Reade Over Twitter, Facebook Pics

Actress Katherine Heigl is suing drug-store chain Duane Reade for using her name and image for advertising purposes without her permission.

Duane Reade apparently posted an unauthorized paparazzi photo of the actress on Twitter with the caption "Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even @KatieHeigl can't resist shopping #NYC's favorite drugstore," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The same photo was posted to Duane Reade's Facebook page.

Heigl is suing the pharmacy under the false advertising clause of the Lanham Act and under New York's right of publicity laws.

Megaupload and its founder Kim Dotcom are under legal fire in federal court for infringing on multiple Hollywood studios' copyrights.

The online file-hosting site was raided in January 2012 by the feds, but now Dotcom is facing civil allegations as well as criminal charges for running Megaupload, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

What does this new suit add to Megaupload's already full legal plate?

MLK's Bible, Nobel Medal Placed in Court's Care in Estate Fight

Martin Luther King Jr.'s personal Bible and Nobel Peace Prize medal must be stored in a safe deposit box that only the court will access, an Atlanta judge ruled.

The Bible and medal will remain there until an estate fight over the items between King's children is resolved, Reuters reports.

For the King children, a day of litigation is a day like any other.

31 'Dallas Buyers Club' Torrent Downloaders Sued for Piracy

Copyright holders of the movie "Dallas Buyers Club" are suing 31 torrent users who've illegally shared the movie online.

The torrent downloaders are accused of unlawfully distributing the movie without the copyright owners' permission, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The owners worry with even just one unlawful copy floating out there, it could be distributed to a "limitless number of people."

So who are these mysterious alleged freeloaders?