Posts In "Sports"

Sports




A Tale of Two Tents: Functionality in Utility Patents, Design Patents and Trade Dress

The problem you have as a lawyer is that you start to see the “law” in everything you do, including those things you do for fun.

I backpack. And I am just a tad overweight, which I means I have a few extra pounds to lug around the woods for 10 miles at a time. While a more sensible man might look to simply lose those extra pounds, however, I have opted instead to eat more cookies and look to lower the weight of my pack.

The easiest way to lower pack weight is to lower the weight of one or all of the “big three” — the pack itself, the sleeping bag or the tent. So, before every trip, I spend hours and hours researching the latest in ultra lightweight gear, focusing most intensely on these three categories of backpacking equipment. This would seemingly have nothing at all to do with the law.

But then, enter the tents. Continue reading the full story . . . »


Leggo My Likeness Part Trois: Pau Gasol’s Celebrity Doppelganger

Ever wonder what it’s like to be so famous that people who look like you can make money just by acting like you? We’ve all heard of stunt doubles. And most of us have seen the movie Dave. But not everyone is familiar with the phenomena of professional celebrity impersonation and the fun legal issues associated with it.

In this edition of Leggo My Likeness, we’ll take a look at 6’8” Michael Fanter of Antelope Valley, CA, who reportedly charges up to $600 per hour as a Pau Gasol impersonator. (For the record, the real Gasol — power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, just in case you actually need that information — is listed at an even 7’, so I’d look for a $100-per-missing-inch discount.)

The Double Take

One of the two pictures below is Pau Gasol. Can you guess who it is?

(Read to the bottom of the post to find the answer, after some deeply insightful legal analysis about Fanter’s work — do not scroll without reading!) Continue reading the full story . . . »


Register Pac20.com Before It’s Too Late!

Last week, Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott learned the hard way that conference expansion is a little trickier than subbing a “12” in for the“10” in your logo.

As many news outlets reported over the weekend, the soon-to-be-Pac-12 conference has discovered that the domain pac12.com has already been claimed by a fan of the late (unless he isn’t) Tupac Shakur, who has been using the site to offer an Amazon widget selling 2Pac albums. The Pac-10 has responded by filing a claim with the World Intellectual Property Organization, seeking control of the Pac12.com site.

Most people seem to assume this is nothing but a momentary hiccup in the conference’s plans. After all, the Pac-10 is a well-established — and well-funded — preeminent national sporting organization, and a one-page CD ad with the heading “Tupac Lives!” doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of conference partisans everywhere. But, if it can’t (or won’t) cough up a check with enough zeroes on it in order to buy the Pac12.com domain peacefully, the conference may have a real problem wresting away control of the domain by legal force.

Why is that, you ask? The answer requires us to first play a quick game of alphabet soup. Continue reading the full story . . . »


This Is Our Big Game Super Bowl Blog Post. Now Come and Get Us, NFL!

Unless you live here, I’m assuming you’re aware of a little football game taking place this weekend between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I’m as excited as anyone for the game, which is why, this Sunday, I might try to find a local bar hosting a Super Bowl party. But I’ll probably be out of luck, unless I’m willing to go to a “Big Game” party instead. And if I’m feeling spendthrift — the always-confusing word that sounds like “thrifty” but actually means “profligate” — I might try to pick up a new flat-screen TV at a Super Bowl sale. But unless I’m willing to settle for one of those ubiquitous “Big Game” sales, I’ll probably be forced to stick with what I’ve got.

Every year, while every sports yak in America is obsessing over Super Bowl scouting reports, every business in America is trying to capitalize on the game. But most of them aren’t using the words “Super Bowl” to do so, and the reason is fairly obvious: the phrase “Super Bowl” is trademarked by the NFL, which is famously protective of its intellectual property. Moreover, the privilege of using the phrase “Super Bowl” in advertising is one of the valuable rights bestowed by the NFL upon its advertisers and promotional partners — which gives the NFL extra incentive to keep freeloaders from poaching the phrase (thereby diminishing its value to potential paying promotional partners).

But what if the NFL is wrong? What if I really could check out the Super Bowl party at my favorite watering hole without them being subjected to the threat of legal doom?

Guess what, kiddies: I can. Continue reading the full story . . . »


An Early Holiday Present from Law Law Land

It’s the holiday season, and if your house is anything like ours, things are getting a little hectic. The latkes are burning on the stove, the dog ate a sprig of mistletoe and now someone needs to drive it to the expensive vet that’s open on weekends and holidays, and…err…well, we can’t identify a single piece of Kwanzaa paraphernalia to build a joke around. Sorry.

Anyhow, we figure that you’re probably so busy these days — what with all that last-minute holiday shopping (still not too late to get us that ShoeDini we wanted!), dealing with visiting in-laws, and covering for all of your co-workers while they’re on vacation (not that we’re bitter) — you haven’t taken any time to treat yourself. Well, that’s why you have us.

We don’t want to give away what we’re giving you for Christmahanukwanzakah (it’s ecumenical), but we thought you deserved a little early holiday joy — in the form of what might be the greatest piece of legal correspondence in history (with special thanks to the rabid self-flagellating masochists Cleveland sports fans at ’64 and Counting)… Continue reading the full story . . . »


Expecto Legalus!

This weekend, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 opened to the tune of $125 million at the box office. I expect you knew that already. But unless you are either a truly dedicated Harry Potter fan or a fake sports enthusiast, you might not have known that the fourth annual Quidditch World Cup recently concluded this month at DeWitt Clinton Park in New York City.

No, that was not a joke. People actually play Quidditch in real life. Lots of people, in fact.

Life imitating art. Also known as “Ground Quidditch” or “Muggle Quidditch,” the Quidditch World Cup provides an “alternative” athletic activity for students from over 400 colleges and 300 high schools (who probably feel thatUltimate has just gone way too mainstream, man). The event is organized by the newly-registered non-profit,Intercollegiate Quidditch Association. The IQA’s stated mission: to “promote Quidditch as a new sport and lead outreach programs to increase athletic participation among children and young adults and bring magic to communities.”

Continue reading the full story . . . »