In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina…
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Members of Congress Stand Up for Property Rights

In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina) and Representatives Ben Cline (R - Virginia), Theodore Deutch (D - Florida), Martha Roby (R - Alabama) and Harley Rouda (D – California) have just taken a firm stand protecting property rights – copyrights specifically – and merit our praise.

As we’ve long highlighted, property rights constitute a central pillar of “American Exceptionalism,” and that includes intellectual property (IP) rights – copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.   Our Founding Fathers considered IP so important that they deliberately and explicitly singled it out for protection in the text of the Constitution.  As a direct result, we’ve become the most innovative and prosperous nation…[more]

December 06, 2019 • 02:15 pm

Liberty Update

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Jester’s Courtroom
Louis Pooey
Wednesday, January 30 2019

There’s a fight going on over purses.

Toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. is suing Louis Vuitton, challenging the luxury brand’s claim of trademark infringement.

MGA is the maker of Poopsie Pooey Puitton, a slime-kit housed in a poop-shaped carrying case decorated with pastel-colored symbols that are reminiscent of the monogram pattern on some Louis Vuitton bags. According to news reports, MGA says its product is protected as a parody "designed to mock, criticize, and make fun of that wealth and celebrity" associated with Louis Vuitton products.

"The use of the Pooey name and Pooey product in association with a product line of 'magical unicorn poop' is intended to criticize or comment upon the rich and famous, the Louis Vuitton name, the LV marks, and on their conspicuous consumption," the lawsuit said.

The company said it filed the lawsuit to “preemptively shut down any potential claims of trademark infringement that Louis Vuitton might lodge against it and/or any of the retailers stocking its popular toy,” adding that “no reasonable consumer” would mistake Pooey Puitton, which is made of plastic and retails for about $59.99, for Louis Vuitton’s handbags.

MGA is seeking a court declaration that Pooey Puitton does not infringe Louis Vuitton's intellectual property rights and is protected parody and fair use.

Source: bizjournals.com

Not So Instant Replay
Wednesday, January 23 2019

An attorney has filed a lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of New Orleans Saints' season-ticket holders following a missed call in last week's NFC title game.

Attorney Frank D'Amico, Jr., is demanding that the NFL invoke Rule 17, Section 2, Article 1 in the NFL Rule Rulebook that he says "could, in the right circumstances, allow the commissioner to take extreme action in the face of a grossly unfair result." The complaint stems from what many are calling an obvious missed pass interference call in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The Saints had to settle for a field goal, resulting in a tie and overtime; ultimately, the Saints lost the game 26-23.

According to the lawsuit, D'Amico claims NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the power to reverse the outcome of the game and have the teams replay the finish of the contest from the point of the blatant missed pass inference call. "The petition filed by our office was not a petition for damages, but rather a petition for a Writ of Mandamus which seeks equitable relief and NOT monetary damages," D'Amico's firm's Facebook page notes.

Source: cbssports.com

An Open Book
Thursday, January 17 2019

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Christian activists who claimed Houston Library’s Drag Queen Story Hour violated the First Amendment Establishment Clause.

Drag Queen Story Hour, a non-profit program that started in San Francisco several years ago and has grown to other cities, invites drag queens to visit libraries and bookstores to read to children whose parents bring them there to participate. The group Christ Followers that is opposed to the story hour filed the federal lawsuit last October, alleging that Houston’s hosting of the event promotes an “ideology [that] is immoral, obscene and subversive to human flourishing and that the LGBTQ ideology is inseparably linked to the religion of Secular Humanism.” The group further argued that Drag Queen Story Hour should not be hosted at Houston libraries if Christian events are not allowed to be hosted there.

Recently, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal dismissed the case on the grounds the plaintiffs failed to state a viable claim. In her decision, Rosenthal rejected the idea that secular humanism is a religion and noted that drag queens had not discussed it at any events. Moreover, she said the plaintiffs could not prove they had been in any way damaged by the events because “they purposefully avoided ‘Drag Queen Storytime’ because of its alleged immorality and potential to harm their children. Instead of witnessing the event, the plaintiffs ‘researched [it] online.’”

According to news reports, one of the plaintiffs, Chris Sevier, has filed a lawsuit in Louisiana for the same reason, and previously filed lawsuits in several states trying to marry his laptop, in misguided protest against the legalization of gay marriage. The plaintiffs have indicated they plan to appeal this decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Source: pride.com

You Can't Always Have It Your Way
Thursday, January 10 2019

A Portland, Oregon, man is suing Burger King claiming the fast food restaurant backed out of its promise to give him free food for life.

According to news reports, Curtis Brooner says he was involved in an incident in Oregon that resulted in him being locked in the bathroom. Brooner used his cellphone to call the Burger King number listed on his receipt, but the employees were unable to push the bathroom door open. Ultimately, a locksmith was called, and Brooner was freed. In his lawsuit, Brooner claims he was stuck in the bathroom for an hour and could hear employees and customers laughing at him through the door.

Brooner alleges the restaurant offered him free food for life as an apology, which it provided for several weeks and then the offer was withdrawn. Brooner is seeking just over $9,000 in damages, the cost of one burger meal a week for 22 years.

Michael Fuller, Brooner's attorney, told the media that his "client is still hopeful Burger King will do the right thing and honor its agreement."

Source: People.com

May I Have This Dance?
Thursday, January 03 2019

Two video game makers are being sued by a Hollywood star after allegedly including similar versions of the star’s signature dance moves in their video games.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star Alfonso Ribeiro is suing the creators of Fortnite and NBA 2K after having found an unusual similarity between Fortnite's "Fresh" dance emote and another in 2K Sports-creator Take-Two Interactive’s video and his signature "Carlton Dance,” made popular through his character, Carlton Banks, in the 1990s hit sitcom.

Ribeiro seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. His lawsuit asks for a judge’s order to stop both games from using his dance moves.

Ribeiro says he is now in the process of copyrighting the dance.

Source: weartv.com



Question of the Week   
Where is the USS Arizona Memorial located?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Former Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview Friday that he was never warned about potential conflicts of interest involving his son's position with a Ukrainian energy company -- a claim that conflicts with what a former Obama administration official told The New Yorker earlier this year.'Nobody warned me about a potential conflict of interest. Nobody warned me about that,' Biden told NPR…[more]
 
 
—Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller
— Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller
 
Liberty Poll   

Should House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff be investigated for subpoenaing and publishing call log records (with no details or context) of another member of congress, the president's attorney, a journalist and others?