In Timed Out, LLC v. Youabian, Inc., the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's ruling that two models could not assign their rights in misappropriation of likeness claims to the Plaintiff. The court also held that those claims are not preempted by the Copyright Act.
In Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a grocery store's ad, which included the store's logo and slogan, congratulating Michael Jordan's induction into the Hall of Fame was commercial speech and entitled Jordan to continue pursuing his right of publicity and Lanham Act claims.
In addressing a counterclaim to a trademark litigation suit concerning Jimi Hendrix's name and likeness, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the post-mortem publicity rights of Washington's Personality Rights Act can be constitutionally applied to the narrow, non-speculative circumstances of this case. Specifically, this case involves the alleged infringer's attempts to license unofficial Hendrix-related products for sale in Washington and to sell products in Washington that bore Hendrix's image and likeness but did not infringe the trademark owner's marks.
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued opinions in two cases involving claims brought by former football players against video game developer Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) concerning its use of their likenesses in its football video games. In Keller v. Electronic Arts, Inc., in a split decision, the majority held that EA had no First Amendment defense against a former college football player's right of publicity claims. In Brown v. Electronic Arts, Inc., the same Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the dismissal of a retired professional football player's claim that EA violated Section 43 of the Lanham Act.
In Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc., the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit applied the transformative use test to find Ryan Hart's right of publicity interests outweighed Electronic Arts' use of his likeness and biographical information in a college football video game, reversing the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Electronic Arts.
In Milton H. Greene Archives, Inc. v. Marilyn Monroe LLC, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment holding that Marilyn Monroe LLC was estopped from changing Marilyn Monroe's domicile at time of death from New York to California. As a result, Marilyn Monroe LLC was precluded from asserting Marilyn Monroe's publicity rights under California's posthumous right of publicity.