Tag Archives: Celebrity

Montel Williams Aims Pot Shot at Cannabis Trademark Infringers

Talk show host and cannabis mogul Montel Williams recently filed suit against multiple medical marijuana retailers under the Lanham Act and Florida state law for trademark infringement, false advertising, violations of the right to publicity and right to privacy, and unfair business practices. Williams markets a line of medical-grade cannabidiol, or CBD, oils for use … Continue Reading

Till Death Do Us Part? How to Deal With Celebrity Publicity Rights When That Celebrity Passes

The tragic death of renowned recording artist Prince left many reminiscing about his meticulously crafted public image. In life, the law allowed Prince to control the commercial exploitations of his image.  At death, however, that control was lost. Celebrities routinely harness their “images” as a means of generating revenue, relying on intellectual property and right … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Enhances Protections for Celebrities (and Others) After Death

On June 13, 2014, the Massachusetts Senate passed S. 2022, beginning the process of joining 13 other states that prohibit companies from using celebrities' identities after they die. The bill amends Section 3A of Chapter 214 of Massachusetts General Laws, and creates a post-mortem "Right of Publicity" interest. The bill prohibits commercial use of the name, image, and likeness of a "personality" for 70 years after his or her death without written permission from either the personality or "persons who collectively own more than 50 per cent of the aspect of the personality's right of publicity that was commercially used . . . ." "Personality" is defined as "an individual whose identity has commercial value." To garner the bill's protection, however, the personality must be domiciled in Massachusetts as of the date of his or her death.… Continue Reading

Case Update – Kim Kardashian Settles Her Look-Alike Lawsuit Against Old Navy

Just before the Labor Day weekend, Kim Kardashian ended her battle with Old Navy over the use of a look-alike. The settlement ends a year-long lawsuit (Kardashian v. The Gap Inc., et al., case number 2:11-cv-05960) in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California that alleged violation of California’s right-of-publicity statute and … Continue Reading
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