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▲蘇狀師談娛樂法(商標爭議篇)

Central Manufacturing, Inc. v. Brett et al. 492 F. 3d 876 (7th Cir. 2007)  Central Manufacturing, Inc. (“Central”), the registrar of the “Stealth” trademark for baseballs, brought a Lanham Act and state law infringement action against Brett Brothers Sports (“Brett Bros.”), a baseball bat manufacturer that produced a bat of the same name. Brett Bros. is owned in part by Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted summary judgment which Central subsequently appealed. The issues on appeal are whether the evidence presented by Central was sufficient for a finding of infringement, whether the district court abused its discretion by ordering cancellation of the registration, and whether the granting of attorney’s fees to Brett Bros. was warranted. The district court’s judgment was affirmed. Central製造公司是有關棒球相關製品“Stealth”商標之所有人,其對Brett Brothers Sports公司,該公司係由棒球名人堂成員George Brett部分持股,提起聯邦商標和州法商標侵權訴訟。美國伊利諾州北區地方法院准予即決判決,Central製造公司隨後提起上訴,上訴的爭點在於,Central所提呈的證據是否足以認定對造侵權,法院是否濫用裁量為撤銷商標註冊令,是否判決應給付Brett Brothers律師費係有正當理由,二審維持一審之判決。 An action for trademark  infringement can only succeed if the plaintiff owns the mark. Registration provides prima facie evidence of ownership that can be rebutted by competent evidence. More importantly, the mark must be used in commerce to ensure that entrepreneurs do not reserve brand names, making their competitors’ products more costly. If a court decision raises doubts about the validity of a trademark registration, a court may cancel the mark, so long as there is no abuse of discretion. Attorney’s fees and other costs may be awarded to the prevailing party “in exceptional circumstances.” 一個商標侵權訴訟,只能在原告擁有該商標時勝訴。商標註冊只是證明商標所有權之初步表面證證,其是可被有利的證據所推翻。更重要的是,商標需確保企業無保留於商業上使用該品牌名稱,使其競爭對手之產品更昂貴。假如法院對商標註冊之有效性生疑。只要無濫用其裁量權,法院可撤銷該商標註冊。在特別的情狀下,律師費及其他費用可判賠給勝訴之一造。 In 1984, Central’s owner and sole shareholder, Leo Stoller registered the Stealth mark for a variety of sporting goods and registered the mark for baseball bats in 2001. Brett Bros. sold its first Stealth bat in 1999 and has sold 25,000 since.Stoller has licensed the mark and sent various cease-and-desist letters to business such as Kmart, Panasonic and even the stealth bomber.Similarly, Stoller sent a letter to Brett Bros. demanding $100,000. Brett Bros. argued that the mark was never used in commerce and requested that Stoller produce evidence to the contrary. The district court found that no valid evidence was produced that the mark was ever used in commerce and the court of appeals agreed. The court of appeals also found that there was no abuse of discretion in cancelling the mark as the registrant’s asserted rights to the mark were invalid.Finally, the court of appeals determined that under the Lanham Act there was no clear error in awarding attorney’s fees as Central’s actions in bringing the case were oppressive. The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s finding that Central produced no evidence of trademark infringement in that no documents were filed, that Stoller mislead the court with his testimony, and that his documents made a mockery of the proceeding. Therefore, the cancellation of the mark and the grant of attorney’s fees were justified. 1984年Central公司的所有人兼唯一股東Leo Stoller將Stealth標記申請註冊於運動用品,同時於2001年將該標記申請商標註冊於棒球棒。 Brette Bros於1999年售出印有Stealth第一枝棒球棒,從那時起共賣出25,000枝。Stoller有將該商標予以授權,同時發出警告信予諸如像Kmart, Panasonic ,甚至像stealth bomber等廠商。同樣地,Stoller對Brette Bros.發出警告函,要求100,000的賠償金。Brette Bros爭執該標記從未用於商業使用,要求Stoller提出證據。地方法院判決無任何有效證據可證該標記曾用於商業,上訴審亦同此見解。終審法院亦認定撤銷商標註冊無濫用裁量,商標權人主張就該標記有商標權,是無效的。最終,終審法院認定Central's提起本件訴訟判予律師費係苛刻的,在藍能法下並無明顯錯誤。 終審法院確認地院判決Central公司提不出商標侵害之證據,而Stoller用其證詞誤導法院,同時其文件對訴訟程序無助。是故,撤銷該商標及判賠律師費予以判決確定。

▲蘇狀師談娛樂法(專屬及非專屬經紀契約)

Acting Agents – Exclusive and non-exclusive contracts 當職經紀人–專屬及非專屬契約 Exclusive An Exclusive contract with a talent agent means that your agent represents you for pretty much everything regardless of where the gig is. He represents you in New York, Los Angeles, Wichita…. where ever you go and whatever you do. Most exclusive agreements entitle the agent to their commissions even if they did not get you the gig or have anything to do with it. 專屬經紀契約意指不管你身在何處你的經紀人均係你的代表,不管你身在何處如紐約、洛杉磯、威奇托,亦不管你為何事,經紀人均代表你。絕大部分之經紀契約使經紀人都能獲取傭金,即便他們未能使藝人獲取酬勞或者使藝人後取酬勞而無所作為。 Non-Exclusive非專屬契約 This is the more popular type of contract and it is less restricting than the Exclusive contract. A Non-Exclusive agreement basically states that you can have more than one agent and is a popular choice for actors that work out of different cities. You can have one agent for New York and another for Los Angeles. The agent that gets paid is the one who sent you to the audition. 此種非專屬經紀契約係較受歡迎之契約態樣與專屬經紀契約相比,係較不受限制。非專屬經紀契約基本上規範你可以有一個以上之經紀人,同時此種模式也較受藝人歡迎。 Exclusive An Exclusive contract with a talent agent means that your agent represents you for pretty much everything regardless of where the gig is. He represents you in New York, Los Angeles, Wichita…. where ever you go and whatever you do. Most exclusive agreements entitle the agent to their commissions even if they did not get you the gig or have anything to do with it. 專屬經紀契約意指不管你身在何處你的經紀人均係你的代表,不管你身在何處如紐約、洛杉磯、威奇托,亦不管你為何事,經紀人均代表你。絕大部分之經紀契約使經紀人都能獲取傭金,即便他們未能使藝人獲取酬勞或者使藝人獲得酬勞與經紀人所為無因果關係,亦不生影響。   Non-Exclusive非專屬契約 This is the more popular type of contract and it is less restricting than the Exclusive contract. A Non-Exclusive agreement basically states that you can have more than one agent and is a popular choice for actors that work out of different cities. You can have one agent for New York and another for Los Angeles. The agent that gets paid is the one who sent you to the audition. 此種非專屬經紀契約係較受歡迎之契約態樣與專屬經紀契約相比,係較不受限制。非專屬經紀契約基本上規範你可以有一個以上之經紀人,同時此種模式,也較受藝人歡迎,同時提供藝人身處於不同城市一個不錯之選擇。你可以在紐約有個經紀人,同時在洛杉磯也有個經紀人。可獲得報酬之經紀人是可以使你大量曝光的那個推手。 Contract terms契約期限 Contracts are normally signed for period of a year even though sometimes longer terms are used. Many people are afraid of contracts and beginning actors sometimes get the misconception that they are now in someway “owned” by the agent. With most contracts that is not the case and the contract is a way to make sure that you pay the agency if you got the gig they sent you on. 契約正常以1年為期,即使有時會長於1年。許多人懼怕契約同時一些剛起步之藝人有時誤解他們為經紀人“所有”。契約是你獲得報酬將之提付與經紀人酬勞的一種方式。 A contract is nothing to fear. It spells out the agreement between both sides and what each side provides the other.  If you believe your agency is not doing its job you can request to end the agreement in writing. If an agency is unhappy with your performance, they will simply not send you to auditions and you may never get anything in writing from them. 無需懼怕契約,契約是雙方明確規範雙方權利義務之一種書面協議。倘若你認為你的經紀人不能勝任的話,你可以書面終止經紀契約。假如你的經紀人對你的表現不甚滿意,他們將不會為你力爭試鏡機會,同時也不會以書面方式告知你。

▲蘇狀師談娛樂法

'Resident Evil' Stunt Performer Drops Injury Lawsuit in L.A. 惡靈古堡的特技演員撤回在洛杉磯的訴訟 Its possible, however, that Olivia Jackson may pursue the case elsewhere. Attorneys for British stunt performer Olivia Jackson have dropped a Los Angeles-based lawsuit against the makers of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.  英國特技演員奧利佛傑克森的律師撤回對“惡靈古堡:最終章”之製作公司在洛杉磯的訴訟。 The defendant argued in the motion to dismiss that Jackson's stunt performer contract specifically includes a provision requiring dispute resolution in South Africa. So it's possible that Jackson may pursue the case elsewhere.  被告爭執到該特技演員契約內容明確規定,本契約如發生爭議其訴訟管轄地為南非,因此該特技演員可能在他地另行起訴。 In September 2016, during the filming of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, in Cape Town, South Africa, Jackson was badly injured during a stunt. While riding a motorcycle at a high speed, the 34-year-old veteran stunt performer collided with a crane-mounted camera that was traveling in the opposite direction. Her left arm was amputated above the elbow and she suffered lasting nerve damage and facial scarring. 2016年9月,在南非開普敦拍攝上開影片期間,34歲特技演員傑可森在為特技時受了很重的傷。事發時以高速騎著摩托車與反向行進之吊掛攝影機相撞。左手臂手肘以下截肢,同時受有持續性神經損害及面部傷疤。 Jackson’s initial U.S lawsuit, filed in September 2019 in Los Angeles, alleged that Resident Evil director Paul W. Anderson and his longtime producing partner, Jeremy Bolt, were responsible, and requested unspecified damages. 傑克遜最初於2019年9月在美國洛杉磯起訴,主張“惡靈古堡”導演Paul W. Anderson及其長期合作夥伴Jeremy Bolt要對其受傷負責,同時要求未定額的損害賠償金。 “The dismissal of the lawsuit included no settlement or payment of any kind,” said Joseph R. Taylor, an attorney with Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, the firm representing the defendants, which included director Anderson and producer Bolt, along with their respective production companies. “該訴訟無透過和解或給付任何金額而撤回,包括導演及製片和他們各自的製作公司” 代表被告的Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz律師事務所之 Joseph R. Taylor這樣說道。 Jackson’s attorneys didn’t respond to requests for comment.  傑克遜的律師對該上開陳述未做任何回應及評論。

▲蘇狀師談娛樂法(名人授權)

CELEBRITY LICENSING 名人授權 In the licensing business, celebrity licensing refers to granting the right to a third party to use the name, image, brand, or likeness of a celebrity. By acquiring these rights under license, the third party can utilize them in the promotion or sale of their goods or services.  於授權實務,名人之授權指,授權第三人得利用其姓名、圖像、品牌或樣貌。藉由授權,第三人可於促銷或銷售其產品或服務下,利用上開標的。 A celebrity who licenses intellectual property (IP) related to their image, name, or likeness is allowing a third party (usually a group or business) to use those assets for the benefit of the third party’s business interests. In exchange for granting the licensing rights, the celebrity receives financial compensation, typically in the form of royalties. Depending upon the nature of the licensing contract, there may be limitations to what the third party can do with the intellectual property of the celebrity. They may only be able to utilize the property in certain markets, or for a specific period of time. In addition, there may be terms limiting the types of services or goods in connection with which the celebrity’s IP can be used. 名人授與有關其圖像、姓名、樣貌等智慧財產權與第三人時,該人可為其商業利益而利用之。名人可因上開權利之授與而取得酬償,通常以取得權利金方式作為授權之對價。基於授權契約之內容,對第三人得利用上開智慧財產權,得加以限制。諸如限制第三人只能在特定市場或特定期間利用上開智慧財產權。此外,還可限制上開智慧財產權只能用於某類型之服務或商品。 ※尊重著作權;違法利用,本人必究。  

知名連鎖服飾遭同行提告違反商標法,律師協助協助獲不起訴處分

知名連鎖服飾遭同行假藉違反商標法提告,經律師協助迅速取回遭查扣數萬件服飾並獲不起訴處分。