Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Golden Boy Voluntarily Dismisses Ninth Circuit Appeal in Haymon Antitrust Case

Last week, Golden Boy Promotions filed papers with the Ninth Circuit to voluntarily dismiss its appeal of the Central District of California Court's decision to grant summary judgment to Al Haymon and his various corporate entities on the antitrust claims filed in 2015.  The Ninth Circuit entered an order dismissing the appeal.

Golden Boy's opening appeal brief was due to be filed by October 27.  They filed the stipulation of voluntary dismissal on October 25.

Thus, Al Haymon and the PBC get their final and complete victory over Golden Boy and the allegations of monopoly and violations of the Muhammad Ali Act.   A brief summary of the lower court's decision was covered in this blog last month.

See Golden Boy's stipulation for dismissal below:

See Ninth Circuit's Order of Dismissal of Appeal below:

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Main Events Settles Trademark Infringement Case Against Main Event Boxing Gym

Earlier this week, Main Events settled its trademark infringement suit against Main Event Boxing Gym (MEBG).  The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

In July 2017, Main Events had filed suit against MEBG in federal court in the Middle District of Florida seeking a permanent injunction to stop MEBG from using the words "Main Event" in connection with their business.  MEBG had started promoting boxing in the spring of 2016 and was using the name of the gym and related trademarks in promotional materials.

In its complaint, Main Events alleged trademark and service mark infringement and unfair competition under both the federal law Lanham Act, as well as the common law and Florida State laws.

On September 6, 2017, MEBG filed a motion to dismiss or in the alternative motion for summary judgment, claiming that the "Main Event" mark had become generic (though they barely cited any case law - 2 cases).  Main Events filed strong opposition papers on September 18, 2017 and the case was settled before the court could rule on the motion.

See the settlement agreement below:

See MEBG's MTD/MSJ below:
See Main Events' opposition below:

Friday, October 20, 2017

NY State Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of Claims in Mago Suit

In an opinion issued earlier this week, the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the dismissal of certain claims in boxer Magomed Abdusalamov’s ("Mago") suit accusing ringside doctors and the promoter of the event of responsibility for his injuries following his 2013 bout with Mike Perez at Madison Square Garden.

Regarding the lack of informed consent claim against the four ringside doctor defendants (Anthony Curreri, Osric King, Avery Browne and Gerard Varlotta), the panel held that this claim was properly dismissed by the trial judge. The panel stated that New York law requires the plaintiff to allege there was "some unconsented-to affirmative violation of the plaintiff’s physical integrity (citation omitted).  As the plaintiffs made no allegation that the defendants, in purportedly failing to prevent, diagnose, and treat the injuries [Mago] allegedly sustained during the boxing match, invaded his bodily integrity, the Supreme Court properly directed dismissal of the plaintiffs’ second cause of action to the extent it sought recovery on the basis of lack of informed consent.”

The panel further affirmed the dismissal of derivative causes of action asserted by Mago’s wife on behalf of their three children.

Mago's family had also brought claims for punitive damages against the ringside doctors and promoter K2 Promotions, but the panel affirmed the lower court's dismissal as the claims did not "constitute gross recklessness or intentional, wanton or malicious conduct . . . or are activated by evil or reprehensible motives."  The panel held that the claims alleged nothing more than mere negligence.

As reported last month, the State of New York and certain officials of the New York State Athletic Commission settled with Mago for $22 Million.

See the Second Department's opinion below:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mayweather Legal Update

Floyd Mayweather's team is known as the The Money Team (TMT) and of course, where there is money, you'll find litigation.  Currently, there are a number of matters pending involving Floyd Mayweather, either directly or indirectly.

Floyd Sr. gets sued for $20M by former publicist

Let's start with the latest involving Floyd's father, Floyd Mayweather, Sr.  As reported by Paul Gift in Forbes, Ann Barlow, a former publicist for Floyd Sr., is suing him for breach of contract stemming from a public relations and consulting services contract Sr. signed with her.  According to the Forbes article, in 2015, Sr. had sued Barlow over the same agreement, claiming that she had tricked him into signing it, when he really wanted help setting up a nonprofit foundation for sarcoidosis (which he is suffering from).  Sr. dropped the suit but Barlow is now suing him for breach and claiming over $20M in damages.

Showtime looking to consolidate Mayweather-McGregor Streaming Suits in NY

Showtime filed a motion to transfer and centralize eight lawsuits in five different federal districts regarding the loss of streaming services for the Mayweather-McGregor bout to the Federal Court in the Southern District of New York.  The suits allege that either Showtime or affiliate companies of the UFC which offered the Mayweather-McGregor PPV via streaming service, sold a defective product that prevented purchasers from watching the event.

See Showtime's motion below:

Mayweather Promotions files for Default Judgment in "Philthy Rich" trademark dispute

In August 2017, Mayweather Promotions, LLC ("MP") filed an opposition to rapper Phillip Anthony Beasley's attempt to trademark his nom de rap "Philthy Rich".  MP had previously registered the name of Floyd's record label "Philthy Rich Records" with the PTO.  Beasley was required to file an answer to the opposition by October 9, 2017.  Having failed to do so, MP moved for a default judgment before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB").

See the default motion below:

Ticketmaster sues scalpers for using bots to buy tickets to events, incl., Mayweather-Pacquiao

Ticketmaster is claiming $10M in damages in a suit it brought against Prestige and other secondary ticket brokers for the use of "bots" that buy in bulk tickets available to the public.  The suit alleges the brokers then resell the tickets at a significant markup.  Ticketmaster alleges that the bots were able to circumvent the site's security features and restrictions on tickets per customer to do mass buys for many prominent events.  The suit alleges that the bots purchased the "majority of the tickets available through Ticketmaster" for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. 

See the complaint below:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ali Company Sues Fox Broadcasting for False Endorsement and Right of Publicity

Muhammad Ali Enterprises, LLC ("MAE"), the company that owns the intellectual property rights of former Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali, sued Fox Broadcasting Company ("Fox") in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Illinois, for using Ali's likeness in a Super Bowl commercial without the company's permission.

MAE, which is owned by Authentic Brands Group and the Muhammad Ali Family Trust, alleged that a three minute ad that featured images of Ali and audio of him shouting "I am the Greatest!" was juxtaposed with images of past Super Bowl stars whose greatness was equated to Ali's.  MAE further alleges that the images of Ali were used by FOX without MAE's permission.

The audience for the Super Bowl was alleged to have reached over 111 million viewers and MAE claims that Fox could have sold that advertising time for a total of $30 Million.

MAE alleges two different causes of action, a Federal Lanham Act claim for False Endorsement, as well as a Right of Publicity claim brought under an Illinois state statute.

See the complaint below:

Great Show At The Hammerstein Tomorrow