Feeling Minnesota: Has Prince’s Right of Publicity Disappeared?

In the unlikely event that any West Coast celebrities out there had been considering a move to Minnesota, an article published today on WealthManagement.com will give them pause. It makes the insightful observation that the late artist Prince’s decision to remain domiciled in his home state may have cost his heirs (whoever they turn out to be) the […]

Michigan Privacy Law: Detroit Free Press and DOJ Face Off Over Mugshots

On March 10, 2016, lawyers for the Detroit Free Press and the Department of Justice met in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in the latest chapter of a decades-long battle over access to “booking photos,” or mugshots. Twenty years ago, the Free Press obtained a ruling from a panel of the 6th Circuit […]

New Resource for Michigan Lawyers: Trends in Business Court Practice [Video]

I was privileged to have been invited by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education to join my friends Doug Toering and Dick Hurford in recording an hour-long panel discussion entitled “Trends in Business Court Practice.” Doug and I serve together on both the Business Courts Committee of the Michigan State Bar’s Business Law Section, and […]

Updated: Michigan Trademark Law Treatise

This is a quick update to let you know that a treatise chapter I authored on Michigan trademark law has just been updated. If you subscribe to the Practical Law resource website from Thomson Reuters, you can access the chapter here. It’s a concise Q&A-style guide to Michigan laws protecting trademarks. This Q&A addresses state laws governing trademark […]

PODCAST: 2016 Update on the Right of Publicity

This afternoon I presented to the Michigan IP Law Association on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Recent Developments in Right of Publicity Law.” Just over 30 minutes long, this speech gives a concise summary of what the Right of Publicity is, and how case law interpreting it has developed over the past few […]

Rosa Parks’ Legal Force Awakens, But Her Likeness Will Stay at Target

Apologies for the horrible Star Wars puns, but such are the times. A more salient headline probably would have been, “Freedom of Speech Outweighs Rosa Parks’ Publicity Rights.” This case has been broadly covered by the legal blogosphere, but it’s too central to my practice area not to discuss here. I have long been developing […]

Trademark Owners – Don’t Get Scammed By These Deceptive Invoices

Without fail, every time I apply to register a trademark, either I or my client will receive in the mail an “invoice” from some company I’ve never heard of. It will be styled in neutral, official-sounding language such as “filing fee” or “application fee,” and on first glance there will be no indication that I have […]

God, Green Day, and Copyright – How Punk Rockers Affirmed Fair Use Rights in Worship Services

I love God, and I love copyright law. As a result, one of my longtime academic interests has been the role of copyright law in the creative communications that take place every week in worship services across the country. Specifically, I’ve written (here and here) on whether, and to what extent, the fair use doctrine permits pastors […]

Tweet This to Win … a #Nastygram From the NAD

As I’ve blogged about previously, the Federal Trade Commission takes a dim view of contests that encourage consumers to post a message in social media as a means of entering a contest. Its reasoning is that consumers aren’t necessarily endorsing a product or service because the genuinely like it, but rather just as a means to […]

Preventing Cyberbullying: A Practical Guide (Guest Post)

This week’s post is by parent and freelance writer Hilary Smith. If you don’t have kids, you might not have thought about cyberbullying lately – but more than twenty million teenagers (yes, that’s the right number) have been bullied online, and many of those incidents have more than one perpetrator. At the core, though, cyberbullying is […]