This morning, Sports Authority, Inc. (“Sports Authority”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States District of Delaware, Bankruptcy Court, case # 16-10529. The retailer with more than 450 stores is expected to close about 140 locations within the bankruptcy proceeding. Sports Authority was once the biggest sporting-goods chain in the U.S., but over the past few years has had difficulty competing with Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., Lululemon Athletica Inc., Gap Inc.’s Athleta, and Amazon.com, Inc. Landlords Beware If you are a landlord, you will want to know:Will they remain a tenant?;When will rent be paid?;Are there pre-petition claims that are owed?;Is the Debtor in default of pre-petition non-monetary obligations?; and,What other damages are owed (both pre- and post-petition)? Trade Creditor Questions Trade creditors, including suppliers, should also be asking important questions, such as:Have you been paid on time and … [Read more...] about Sports Authority Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Delaware
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World champion skier and six-time Olympic medalist Samuel "Bode" Miller had his eye on coming out of retirement for the 2016-17 season before a contract dispute with his former equipment sponsor, Head USA, put his hopes on ice. For those readers who don't follow ski racing, Bode Miller is the most decorated male U.S. alpine ski racer of all time. In addition to his Olympic medals, Miller achieved 33 World Cup wins and world championship titles in various disciplines. Miller's successful career came to an abrupt hockey stop when, in his only race of the 2014-15 ski racing season at the 2015 World Championships in Colorado, he hit a gate during his super-G run and severely injured his hamstring tendon.Following the injury, Miller decided to explore industry opportunities outside of professional racing and ended his sponsorship relationship with Head USA by signing a termination agreement that contained a covenant that Miller would "not compete in World Cup or World … [Read more...] about Ski Manufacturer Chills Bode Miller’s Comeback
In the latest episode of a 30-year dispute over the use of marks depicting mounted polo players, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the district court’s order finding contempt of a 2012 injunction. U.S. Polo Ass’n, Inc. v. PRL USA Holdings, Inc., Case Nos. 13-1038, -1130 (2d Cir., May 13, 2015) (Winter, C.J.).The U.S. Polo Association (USPA) is the national governing body for the sport of polo, but it also sells branded apparel, accessories and other products. The appellees (collectively PRL) own the Polo Ralph Lauren marks, including the famous logo depicting a single mounted polo player with a raised mallet.The first case between the parties ended in 1984 and resulted in PRL’s victory and a broad injunction barring the USPA from using any mark “confusingly similar” to the PRL marks in connection with any goods or services. In 1996, the USPA began using the Double Horsemen Mark, depicting two mounted polo players, in connection with … [Read more...] about No Clear Notice, No Contempt: U.S. Polo Ass’n v. PRL USA Holdings – Trademark Litigation
Who's First in Ownership of the "Sweet Spot" Remains UnclearBaseball is often called a "game of inches," whether one is describing the strike zone, a close play at the plate, or a liner past third base that just kicks up the chalk to stay fair. Indeed, hitting is truly about inches. Pitchers try to locate their pitches on the edges of the plate or have them run just out of the strike zone to prevent the batter from making contact with the "sweet spot" of the bat – a ball struck just off the main part of barrel might result in a soft fly to shortstop, while the same swing where the ball contacts the sweet spot of the bat might result in a smash to the outfield gap. In wooden bats, the sweet spot is generally located in the area above the manufacturer's label, about 5-7 inches from the end of the barrel (essentially, the node on the bat that results in minimal vibration when striking a ball). Employing the physics principle of Coefficient of Restitution … [Read more...] about Sweet Spot Patent Owner, Evans v. Fitness & Sports Clubs: Three Point Shot November 2016
Paying tribute to celebrity can sometimes be an expensive proposition. A Chicago grocery store chain found this out the hard way when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit handed down its decision in Michael Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., Case No. 12-1992 (7th Cir., Feb. 19, 2014) (Sykes, J.).The facts are straightforward. In 2009, basketball superstar Michael Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Sports Illustrated decided to produce a commemorative issue to mark Jordan’s Hall of Fame induction. Jewel agreed to provide floor space to promote the issue. In exchange, Jewel was permitted to place a full-page congratulatory notice in the commemorative issue, which purported to pay tribute to Jordan, once a mega-celebrity in Chicago. Jordan, an unquestionably fine basketball player, but an especially astute businessman and promoter, saw in the congratulatory notice something much more—a … [Read more...] about Applause Can Come with a Big Price Tag: Michael Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc.
Sports Authority, Inc. (“Sports Authority”) appears to likely be the next big tenant Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Recent reports are indicating that the sporting and apparel chain is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, as debt payments are due in 10 days, according news reports from Bloomberg Business and other outlets. Of its 450 stores,Bloomberg reports that Sports Authority plans to close as many as 200 locations within a bankruptcy proceeding.Sports Authority was once the biggest sporting-goods chain in the U.S, but over the past few years has had difficulty competing with Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., Lululemon Athletica Inc., Gap Inc.’s Athleta, and Amazon.com Inc. Landlord’s QuestionsIf you are a landlord, it’s a good idea to review your accounting and call any defaults that may exist. Furthermore and operationally, you may want your property manager to speak with the store … [Read more...] about Sports Authority Looks to be the Next Big Tenant Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing
IntroductionScore one for McDowell's and its "Golden Arcs."  In a dispute between two sports bar and restaurant chains, the Eleventh Circuit has affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Boynton Carolina Ale House, LLC ("Boynton Carolina"), who plaintiff Miller's Ale House, Inc.("Miller's") had accused of infringing its alleged common law trademark to the term "Ale House," its trade dress relating to the restaurant's interior decoration, and its copyrighted restaurant floor plans. In so doing, the Court came down on the side of free economic competition and the copying that such open competition encourages, and cautioned against any tendency to allow trademarks in generic terms.Factual BackgroundMiller's opened its first sports bar and restaurant in Jupiter, Florida in 1988, and has since expanded to over 50 locations in 8 states. Each Miller's location uses and displays a geographic prefix -- such as a … [Read more...] about Eleventh Circuit Raises its Glass to the Public Domain; Affirms Summary Judgment Entered Against Miller’s Ale House on Trademark, Trade Dress, and Copyright Claims
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, reversing a district court decision, held that an Arkansas retail company was subject to personal jurisdiction in Washington even though the only contact with that state was a claim of willful infringement of a copyright held by a Washington corporation. Washington Shoe Company v. A-Z Sporting Goods, Inc., Case Nos. 11-35166, 11-35206 (9th Cir., Dec. 17, 2012) (Bybee, J.).Plaintiff Washington Shoe, a Washington corporation that manufactures footwear, became aware that its customer, retailer A-Z Sporting Goods, offered for sale certain boots that infringed the designs of those manufactured by Washington Shoe. After receiving multiple cease-and-desist letters from Washington Shoe, A-Z removed the allegedly infringing boots (which it purchased from China) from its store and sold off the remaining inventory to a thrift store. Washington Shoe brought suit in federal court in Washington State for copyright infringement, … [Read more...] about Intentional Infringement of Copyright with Knowledge of Copyright Owner’s Forum Supports Claim of Personal Jurisdiction
Eclipse IP LLC (“Eclipse”), which is used to being the plaintiff in a series of lawsuits asserting patents purporting to cover computer-based notification systems, has for the second time found itself a defendant over those patents.On January 25, 2013, FedEx Corporate Services, Inc. (“FedEx”) filed a declaratory judgment action against Eclipse in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, seeking declarations of noninfringement and invalidity of U.S. Patents Nos. 7,119,716 (“the ’716 Patent”), 7,479,899 (“the ’899 Patent”), 7,482,952 (“the ’952 Patent”), 7,319,414 (“the ’414 Patent”), and 7,876,239 (“the ’239 Patent”) (collectively, “the Patents-in-Suit”).As reported in a Law360 article, counsel for Eclipse indicated that its patents “relate in part to systems for keeping individuals apprised of the whereabouts of a … [Read more...] about FedEx Becomes Second Carrier to Deliver Patent Declaratory Judgment Complaint to Eclipse IP LLC
Hoverboards are great: they are a fun way to get from Point A to Point B, easy to use (after a little wobbly practice), lightweight, and portable. Hoverboards are like Segways without handlebars; they are self-balancing and allow the operator to accelerate, turn, and stop. However, major airlines have banned the popular device du jour for safety reasons, as have some major online retailers, and the New York City Police Department tweeted that the devices would be deemed an illegal motorized scooter under NYC Admin. Code 19-176.2 if used on the public streets.And, there is another potential downside. According to a complaint filed in the Northern District of Indiana, they may unexpectedly explode and catch fire. The claimant, Michael Brown, filed a putative class action against Swagway, LLC, a manufacturer of hoverboards, and Modell's Sporting Goods, Inc., the popular sporting goods store, after a hoverboard that Brown purchased for his children allegedly exploded while … [Read more...] about Hoverboards: Just as Explosive as Their Sales?