Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Steve Wilson Appointed to International Trademark Association (INTA) Enforcement Committee

Steve Wilson, Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Group, Chair of the Sports & Entertainment Law Group, and Member of the Litigation Group at Preti Flaherty, has been appointed to serve on the Enforcement Committee of the International Trademark Association (INTA).

Founded in 1878, INTA is a global not-for-profit membership association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. INTA comprises more than 6,000 trademark owners, professionals, and academics from more than 190 countries. INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Shanghai, Brussels, and Washington DC, and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai.

The Enforcement Committee analyzes judicial and administrative rules and procedures affecting the enforcement of trademarks and business identifiers, and develops and advocates policies to harmonize and strengthen trademark rights. Areas of focus include trademark litigation, opposition and cancellation proceedings, courts and tribunals, and discovery.

Steve earned his J.D. degree from Boston University School of Law, where he received a Concentration in Intellectual Property, was ranked within the top 10% of his third year class, and was named an Edward F. Hennessey Scholar.

Decision involving BOA Olympic bye-law to be announced on Monday

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will issue its decision on Monday in the British Olympic Association (BOA) v. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) case. At stake is the validity of a BOA bye-law that bans British athletes from the Olympic team for life if they have committed a doping offense of any kind.

The BOA filed an appeal following WADA’s determination that the BOA’s bye-law providing that any British athlete “who has been found guilty of a doping offence … shall not … thereafter be eligible for consideration as a member of a Team GB... in relation to any Olympic Games” was non-compliant with the World Anti-doping Code.

A similar IOC rule that banned athletes from the next edition of the Olympic Games if they were deemed ineligible for more than six months for an anti-doping offense was deemed invalid and in violation of the World-Anti Doping Code by the CAS in November 2011.

Tennis Player Banned for Life by Sports Highest Court

Friday, March 23, 2012

Austrian Daniel Koellerer became the first tennis player banned for life for match-fixing when he lost his appeal before the Lausanne, Switzerland based Court of Arbitration for Sport today.

The ban was  imposed by the Tennis Integrity Unit formed in 2008 by the International Tennis Federation and the other bodies involved in the sport of tennis. The Tennis Integrity Unit is charged with enforcing the sport’s zero-tolerance policy towards gambling-related corruption worldwide.

Koellerer was found to have approached multiple players on tour to discuss the possibility of fixing matches.

From the just published Sports Litigation Alert

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Sports Litigation Alert recently published this summary of the Caroline Maher case:

Court of Arbitration for Sport Clears Athlete of Doping Charges, Makes Governing Body Pay Attorney Fees

In a decision that reverberated throughout the Olympic community, The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that all charges against Caroline Maher, an Egyptian Taekwondo athlete, who was sanctioned after a drug test allegedly came back positive, have been dismissed.

The CAS also ordered the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) to pay $20,000 for Maher's legal fees and expenses incurred during the arbitration proceedings, an extraordinary result by CAS standards.

Maher, 25, was born in Egypt and began competing in the sport of Taekwondo at 10 years of age. She narrowly missed qualifying for the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008, and has been focused on representing Egypt in the London 2012 Olympic Games. In December of 2010, Maher was directed to report for Out-of-Competition drug testing to be performed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Maher was ill with a common cold at the time of the testing and reported the medicines prescribed by her family doctor (none of which were banned Out-of-Competition) to the WADA Doping Control Officer. Five months after being testing, Maher was told that her A Sample had apparently tested positive for steroids. Her B Sample was never tested. In August, Maher was informed that she had been banned for two years for an anti-doping violation without a hearing.

Knicks' Guard Jeremy Lin's Success leads to trademark filings by others

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Now that New York Knicks Guard Jeremy Lin has become one of the most recognizable names in sports practically overnight, it is not surprising that others would try to profit from his success. Does Lin have legal recourse to challenge these attempts?  The answer is yes.  The Lanham Act which protects trademarks (including the rights to a famous person's name) and the common law right of publicity protect Lin from bad faith attempts by others to profit from his name, likeness and image.  For example, Lin could bring an action to prevent others from attempting to trademark "Linsanity" or from profiting from a domain name like "linsanity.com".

Former Tour de France Champion Jan Ullrich found guilty of doping

Thursday, February 9, 2012

For the second time this week the Lausanne, Switzerland based Court of Arbitration for Sport found a former Tour de France Champion guilty of doping.

Today it was Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France champion who was found to have committed an anti-doping rules violation through his involvement in a Spanish blood doping ring.  The Panel was most persuaded by Jan Ullrich's failure to challenge the veracity of the evidence presented.  Instead, Ullrich raised only procedural arguments.  Ullrich was suspended for two years.  In so doing, the Panel rejected the International Cycling Federation's request for a lifetime ban.

For more on the Ullrich decision click here.

Contador found guilty of doping, stripped of 2010 Tour title

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Court of Arbitration for Sport three-member Panel did not find Contador's "tainted meat" defense credible. The Panel believed that the most likely explanation for Contador's positive test was that he ingested the banned substance clenbuterol by way of a tainted supplement.  To read the press release and the Court of Arbitration for Sport decision click here