Big Brands In Legal Battles This Year

Lawsuits are usually good for a dash of intrigue, especially when household brands square off in court. There’s been no shortage in 2017 of legal gripes involving U.S. brands across various sectors including media, retail clothing, foods and even professional sports. Here are six lawsuits that have made recent headlines:

Tupac Vs. Teen Brands:

Youth-targeted retail clothing brands Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters have been slapped with lawsuits over a t-shirt with the likeness of dead rapper Tupac Shakur. They are just two of five companies that has been sued by the hip-hopper’s estate. The Shakurs claim the retailers did not obtain persmission to use the image before producing the shirts. The image in question is an iconic photo of Shakur taken by rock photographer Danny Clinch in 1992.

PayPal Targets Pandora:

Online payment giant PayPal filed suit against online music streaming service Pandora for similarities in their logos. PayPal filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York earlier this year and is reportedly requesting that Pandora not only discontinue use of their current “P” logo, but also pay unspecified damages and pick up the legal bill. The suit arose after Pandora changed their logo to a newer more simplified look in 2016.

Spurs Fan Sues Golden State Over Dirty Play

An avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs filed a lawsuit against Zaza Pachulia and the Golden State Warriors claiming that they intentionally set out to injure Kawhi Leonard in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Final. The Spurs were up 23 points against the juggernaut Warriors when Pachulia used a savvy but dirty defensive technique to hurt Kawhi. With the Spurs star on the bench, the Warriors surged back to win the game and eventually the NBA Championship. Juan Vasquez filed the suit requesting a restraining order the would have precluded Pachulia for appearing the rest of the series. Vasquez claimed the value of his tickets was significantly diminished after the Spurs became less competitive due to the injury. His suit was predictably dismissed.

Alex Jones Apologizes To Yogurt:

Far right political commentator Alex Jones apologized to Greek yogurt producer Chobani and settled a defamation lawsuit that had been pressed against him. Jones had falsely claimed on air that the company was employing illegal immigrants and importing rapists to a facility in Idaho. His statements had loosely tied together a different story that involved sexual abuse of three immigrant children. The apology and settlement is Jones second this year, after he was sued for publicly tying a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor to a child sex ring.

“Google” Is Not A Generic Term?:

The San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Google in a case that could have cost the web giant their lucrative name brand. The suit was brought by a man named Chris Gillespie, who asserted that the term “google” is so common place in society that it should no longer be a copyrighted name brand. The court ruled, however, that despite the term google being largely adopted as a verb, it does not represent genericide because it is not a singular descriptor for the act of conducting a web search.

Eagles Miffed At Hotel California

The Eagles have filed a lawsuit against a hotel in Todos Santos, Mexico for use of the name Hotel California. The rockers claim the hotel obtained no permissions to use the same name as their massive hit track and have also falsely represented links to the band. Various patrons of the hotel had reported frequent use of the band’s music through public spaces as well as images of the band in the hallways. They are seeking to recoup fees that would have been incurred had proper permissions been obtained.  I wonder if actual eagles are considering a lawsuit against Don Henley et al.

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