No sooner did Peyton Manning dodge the ball in the Inflategate Scandal (pun intended), than Eli Manning finds himself named in a lawsuit alleging the distribution of fraudulent Giants memorabilia. A U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey ruled that the lawsuit – filed by one Eric Inselberg – may proceed, but in state court. The Giants, Eli and the other defendants had tried to shift the litigation to federal court believing it would be favorable to their side.
As we often point out in this column, we are not attorneys and we do not dispense legal advice. With that in mind, we will explain that parodies are exempt from infringement claims. When Saturday Night Live performs a parody of a person, place or thing – funny or not (and, lately, not) – it is not trade infringement.
Last September, a U.S. District Court judge ordered Bank of China to turn over financial records from several Chinese companies that were accused of selling counterfeit Gucci goods, and then keeping the ill-gained millions in profits in accounts at state-controlled Chinese banks. The bank argued that turning over such records would violate China’s secrecy laws, and just because these Chinese banks have branches in the U.S., that does not give U.S. courts authority over them. The issue has kicked around for the last few months with various motions being filed and argued.
Canadian band Sandman – that specializes in performing Metallica music – was surprised to find a 41-page cease-and-desist order waiting for the band members when they arrived at FitzRay's, a night club in London, Ontario, where they were scheduled to perform. Sandman bills itself as “Canada’s Number One Tribute to Metallica.” It openly performs Metallica music and makes no claims of ownership. In fact, Sandman has been playing Metallica tunes since 2003, and this is the first time they heard from anyone about it.