Mamba v. Mom
It’s a fair bet that this past Mother’s Day was an awkward one at Kobe Bryant’s house. The Los Angeles Lakers star is engaged in a court battle with his mother, who allegedly tried to sell memorabilia from his early playing days without Kobe’s permission. Pamela Bryant claims that her son gave her the memorabilia—including high school jerseys, All-Star rings and dozens of other items—that she tried to sell through Goldin Auctions.
But the Black Mamba says that he never told his mother she could auction the items, and had actually asked her to return the mementos years ago. Goldin Auctions, meanwhile, is suing Kobe for the right to sell the items. The auction house says that it can’t cancel the auction, since it already gave Pamela Bryant a $450,000 advance for the items.
Singer Rihanna is no stranger to controversy in her personal or professional life, and it appears that she’s about to get a little more drama in her life with a new lawsuit against British retailer Topshop. Rihanna is suing the clothing store for selling a T-shirt that features her face without her permission. Significantly, the shirt was not sold anywhere in the U.S., where personality rights generally ban the unauthorized use of a person’s name or image for trade purposes.
Instead, Rihanna filed the lawsuit in the U.K., which allows the use of legally purchased images provided that they are not trademarked. Since the photo at issue comes from one of the pop star’s music video, it is unlikely that it would be trademarked, Women’s Wear Daily reports.
Batman has emerged victorious once again, this time in a trademark battle with an Indiana-based software company. In “The Dark Knight Rises,” the conclusion of the latest “Batman” trilogy, Catwoman asks Batman for “the clean slate”—a software program that will erase any record of her criminal past from computer databases worldwide. The problem? There’s already a company that sells computer security software known as “Clean Slate.”
Fortres Grand sued Warner Bros. for trademark infringement, arguing that consumers would confuse its product with the fictional program referenced in the film. Judge Philip Simon disagreed, however, ruling that “Warner Bros. ‘clean slate’ software only exists in the fictional world of Gotham; it does not exist in reality,” and thus could not be confused with a real product.
With friends like Justin Bieber, who needs enemies? Guests headed to party at the pop star’s house could find themselves on the hook for $5 million if they spill any details about Bieber’s shindigs, according to a confidentiality agreement reported by TMZ. The singer reportedly requires guests to sign a document that not only waives their liability rights in the event of injury, but also forbids them from discussing, photographing or filming the parties. Any disobedient attendees will face the wrath of Bieber—in the form of a $5 million lawsuit.
The Kardashians, America’s first family of trashy television, are back in the courtroom. This time the clan is suing Ellen Pearson, the widow of patriarch Robert Kardashian, for allegedly publishing private diary excerpts that belong to the Kardashian family. Pearson married Robert—a famed former defense attorney—shortly before his 2003 death from lung cancer.
In January, she sold portions of his diary—including descriptions of his daughters’ younger years and allegations of ex-wife Kris Jenner’s abusive parenting style—to In Touch Weekly. In response, Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Rob Kardashian Jr. filed a lawsuit claiming that Pearson infringed their copyright on the diaries, which they say belong to the family.