Nintendo Entertainment System – Expired Patents Do Not Mean Expired Protection
November 11, 2005
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November 11, 2005
Entertainment Law & Finance, Vol. 21, No. 7 published Sean F. Kane's article "International Film Production Incentives".
October 31, 2005
Sean F. Kane contributed to "Inside Grokster" an Internet Law & Strategy Virtual Roundtable, which was published in August/September 2005 by Internet Law & Strategy, Vol. 3, No. 8A.
September 30, 2005
Internet Law & Strategy, Vol. 3, No. 9 published Sean F. Kane's article "Virtual Worlds And Digital Rights, Can Stealing An Online Gamer’s IP Or Magic Sword Mean Real-World Legal Hot Water?".
September 30, 2005
Alka-Seltzer recently launched a remake of its famous "Try it, you'll like it" commercial from the 1970s. The new commercial takes the old favorite about a restaurant patron who was encouraged by the waiter to eat - "try it, you'll like it" - and updates it with "My Life on the D-List" star Kathy Griffin. We've had the "New Love Boat" and "Superman Returns," so why not bring back old favorites in the commercial world as well?
September 17, 2005
When developing advertising concepts, creatives get their inspiration from many sources. But when the inspiration comes from other creative works, such as a preexisting photograph or television show, there’s a risk that you may infringe upon the original creator’s rights. A recent decision by a federal court in New York illustrates just how easy it is to run into trouble.
September 16, 2005
Entertainment Law & Finance, Vol. 21, No. 4 published Sean F. Kane's article "A Primer On Protecting Investments In Motion-Picture Productions".
July 31, 2005
Being a plaintiff's class action lawyer can make you very rich, but no one ever said it was easy. You first have to find willing class representatives with a decent claim. But class representatives generally lack the resources to pay the enormous expenses of moving the case forward, so you have to fund the cases yourself or get other lawyers to help. Meanwhile, deep-pocket defendants often use their superior resources to turn the case into a battle of attrition.
July 28, 2005
Last month’s LegalEase discussed some of the mistakes that directors make when joining a production company. When negotiating with directors, production companies can make many missteps as well.
July 16, 2005
In addition to seeing some terrific work, the audience at SHOOT’s New Directors Showcase, held a few weeks ago at the DGA Theater in New York City, heard directors, production company heads, and others talk about the many challenges of building a new director’s career. Without a doubt, if you’re a director, building a reel, finding a production company, and getting good work isn’t going to be easy.
June 16, 2005
After years of litigation, California infomercial producer Modern Interactive Technology, Inc., along with its two principals, recently settled charges by the Federal Trade Commission that they participated in developing deceptive claims used to sell weight loss products.
May 15, 2005
Earlier this year, SHOOT reported that the AICP revised its Guidelines to address concerns in the production community about late payment by advertising agencies. The AICP now recommends that production companies assess finance charges on all payments that are more than thirty days overdue.
April 15, 2005
Start-up companies typically issue restricted stock to founders pursuant to Internal Revenue Code ("IRC") Section 351. To encourage founders to remain with the company, start-ups often attach vesting provisions to the stock. Managing the vesting of founders equity can be tricky, and simple mistakes can create significant, unanticipated income tax liabilities. One common error we've seen occurs when such founders fail to "elect" to pay income tax at the time of the issuance under IRC Section 83(b). This article identifies this trap and helps you avoid it.
April 7, 2005
Responding to a complaint brought by Commercial Alert in late 2003, the Federal Trade Commission recently said that it has decided not to require advertisers to disclose product placements in television programs at the time that the product appears on screen.
March 5, 2005
Like many Americans, I have had some awkward conversations with my dental hygienist trying to explain why I hadn’t flossed. So when I saw Listerine’s recent advertising campaign promoting mouthwash that is "as effective as floss," I put aside the jaded skepticism of an advertising lawyer and rushed out to buy a bottle of Cool Mint Listerine.
January 16, 2005
The marketer of the Arnold Schwarzenegger bobble head doll, Ohio Discount Merchandise, Inc., reportedly just settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of the California Governor, alleging that the doll violated Schwarzenegger’s rights.
November 16, 2004
On October 22, 2004, the President signed into law major tax legislation known as the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (the "New Tax Law"). It removes what the World Trade Organization believes are subsidies given to US exports under the US tax law and replaces the subsidies with new provisions to assist US businesses. The New Tax Law, which is hundreds of pages long, also makes numerous other changes, including changes that provide significant tax benefits for film and television productions. These benefits are outlined here.
October 31, 2004
The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus recently announced that Nakajima USA Inc., marketers of the Pirates of the Caribbean Water Slide, said it would modify a television commercial promoting the slide, before airing it again, in order to emphasize that children should use the product under adult supervision.
October 15, 2004
The new tax law, entitled, "The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004," applies to non-qualified deferred compensation and will dramatically alter the tax landscape for traditional forms of deferred compensation such as deferrals of salaries and bonuses. But, in what may come as a surprise, the law may classify many types of equity-based compensation (e.g., certain stock options) as deferred compensation, subjecting them to the new provisions.
October 1, 2004
New developments in indecency law are changing the way media executives and artists do business. Until now, broadcasters and artists could argue that certain questionable content was not indecent in light of the context of the challenged utterances. However, recent changes in the law suggest that context may no longer matter, thereby removing an important defense to a Federal Communications Commission complaint.
September 25, 2004
More than four years ago, Polar Bear Productions, a Montana-based production company, sued Timex Corporation, alleging that Timex continued to use footage licensed by Polar Bear after the term of the license had expired. Even after two trials, and a decision earlier this month by a federal appeals court in Washington, the lawsuit isn’t over, with the parties still fighting over the calculation of damages and other issues.
September 15, 2004
As part of a continuing effort to attract film production activities, New York State now offers a 10% refundable tax credit and New York City offers an additional 5% refundable tax credit for below-the-line production costs for many movies and television films, pilots and series. In effect, these new provisions provide subsidies for film production in New York and provide filmmakers the opportunity to significantly reduce their production costs.
August 31, 2004
As production companies compete for commercial directors, the directors also struggle with the decision of which company is right for them. With advertising agencies and their clients being tougher about bids, and with the realities of under-funded jobs and lower markups, production company profits are shrinking, leaving a lot less money to divide up.
August 15, 2004
Licensing animated characters raises a variety of complex issues. For example, what intellectual property rights does the licensor actually control? Is trademark protection available? What definitions will govern payments to the licensor? These are a few of the important questions licensees must consider before licensing an animated character. This article highlights some of the potential pitfalls for licensees of animated properties, and suggests six steps to help maximize one's investment.
August 7, 2004
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