Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law

Media & Entertainment


Kabushiki Kaisha MegaHouse v. Anjar Co. LLC
Knobbe Martens successfully represented MegaHouse Corp., a Japanese toy company and subsidiary of Bandai Co., Ltd., in trademark and copyright litigation regarding the famous game Othello®.  As a result, MegaHouse is now the undisputed owner and licensor of the Othello® trademark and related intellectual property. MegaHouse and its predecessors had been involved in disputes regarding the intellectual property rights in Othello® for more than a decade.  The firm filed a federal lawsuit in the Central District of California, and defeated the defendants’ motion to dismiss.  The litigation was eventually resolved through settlement, and MegaHouse was very pleased with the resolution.  The firm’s efforts helped to clarify the rights and obligations of Othello® licensees and distributors throughout the world and bring certainty to Othello® enthusiasts in time for the 2015 World Othello Championship in Cambridge, U.K.

Freeplay Music, LLC v. Makita USA, Inc. 
Defended Makita in a copyright infringement action relating to the use of background music in internet videos. Freeplay promoted music on its website as “free” and encouraged downloading without asking for payment or agreement to any terms of use. Freeplay then sought large statutory damages against users who used the music in certain ways. The firm successfully challenged the sufficiency of the pleadings and raised various jurisdictional issues that eventually resulted in a favorable settlement for our client.

Gravel Farms Racing, LLC and Ken Block v. Mad Media LLC
Successfully represented Ken Block asserting federal and state law trademark and copyright infringement claims relating to, and arising out of Mad Media LLC’s claim to have acquired copyright ownership over videos and pictures of high performance driving demonstrations that defendants were hired to record. Obtained favorable early stage settlement following mediation that included acquiring clear title to all disputed copyrights and domain names.

Stephenson v. Game Show Network LLC
We represented Game Show network in convincing the Federal Circuit to affirm the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's decision that a computerized gaming patent owned by John Stephenson, allegedly a competitor of Game Show Network, is invalid.  In 2011, Stephenson, the founder of Multimedia Games Inc., sued GSN for infringement of a patent directed to computer gaming tournaments. GSN filed an IPR petition in 2013, and the litigation was stayed pending the Board’s review of the asserted patent. In its final written decision, the Board found that all 19 claims of Stephenson’s patent were unpatentable.  The Knobbe Martens team convinced the Board that all of the patent's claims were anticipated or obvious in view of a prior art patent application.

Cosmo Lyles Client 
Cosmos Lyles was recognized by Popular Science magazine in their 2010 Invention Awards. Mr. Lyles invented a guitar bridge that incorporates a series of springs and levers to keep the strings of a guitar constantly in tune without having to adjust the guitar pegs. Slash (Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist) and Rob Zombie’s lead guitarist John 5 are using the new bridge and rave about it. The bridge is sold under the EVERTUNE mark. The firm obtained patent protection for the bridge, which will enable musicians worldwide to spend more time playing and less time tuning their instruments.

Rhodes v. Rhodes Music Corp.
We represented the defendant in a right of publicity case involving the use of the name "Rhodes" for musical instruments. We took over the case on appeal and successfully obtained reversal of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. 

International Online Studio and Production Company (Confidential Client) 
Manage clearance and prosecution of trademark applications and handle enforcement issues relating to studio assets. Also assists the company with respect to its licensing programs related to its entertainment properties. 

Monster Energy 
Engaged in numerous litigation and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board matters, enforcing Monster Energy’s trademark, and trade dress rights in various industries, including the entertainment industry and related merchandising. 

National Footwear Brand (Confidential Client) 
Assisted national footwear brand in securing endorsement deal for NBA players. 

Television Production Company (Confidential Client) 
Assisted a television production company with amicably resolving trademark dispute relating to the title of a reality series. 

Television Studio (Confidential Client)
Assisted a television studio with creating and establishing a licensing program for products based on a popular television series.

Basketball Player (Confidential Client)
Assisted famous basketball player with licensing of rights of publicity and endorsement to major national fast-food chain.

Surfer (Confidential Client)
Assisted famous surfer with licensing of rights of publicity to major apparel brand.

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