Recent Posts by Michael Thomas

Fair Use Friday: Dirty Grinch Parody Transformative, Says Court

On Friday September 15th a judge in the Southern District of New York ruled that a raunchy play based on the Dr. Suess book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" amounted to a fair use of the underlying work. "Who's Holiday!": A Raunchy Grinch Redux Dr. Suess Enterprises, owner of the 1957 children’s book about a creature…
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Monk Estate Not So Jazzed, Files Trademark Infringement Suit

In a blow to beer drinkers who appreciate North Coast Brewing Co.'s "Brother Theolonius" Belgian Style Abbey Ale (this author included), the estate of jazz legend Theolonius Monk filed a complaint against the microbrewery on August 29, 2017 alleging trademark infringement and violation of publicity rights. The allegations apparently stem from the brewery's continued use of…
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Fair Use Not So Fair for Defendants in Recent Copyright Cases

Two recent cases demonstrate the limits of crying fair use in response to copyright infringement claims, particularly because they show the perils of arguing the defense to have a case dismissed at an early stage in litigation. Courts employ a balancing test when analyzing whether a defendant's copying amounts to infringement or fair use. The…
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IP Followup: Aftermath of Tam, and More Copyright Registration Discord

A couple of recent events in IP law offer codas to issues discussed in this blog earlier in the year. Here is a quick recap: Redskins Trademark Registration Case Dies After SCOTUS Tam Ruling The case to cancel the Washington football team's trademark registrations in its moniker ended quietly in light of the Supreme Court's Tam ruling. A group…
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