Morgan Art Foundation v. Michael McKenzie, No. 1:18-cv-04438-AT-BCM (S.D.N.& filed Dec. 10, 2021).
ArtNet reported that the Morgan Art Foundation (MAF) filed an “explosive memorandum” last December in its lawsuit against publisher McKenzie. Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses calendared a 2-½ hour March 1 hearing. “Given the gravity of the allegations made by MAF,” Judge Moses writes, “the Court will permit live testimony as requested by defendant McKenzie, including equal time for cross-examination by MAF.” Read the December memo HERE. Read Judge Moses’s order HERE.
Free Holdings Inc. v. Keven McCoy, Sotheby’s et al, No. 1:22-cv-00881-LGS (S.D.N.Y. filed Feb. 1, 2022).
In a case that could shape how the law applies to NFTs, ArtNet reports that a holding company claiming true ownership of Kevin McCoy’s Quantum (2014), auctioned by Sotheby’s last year, has sued the auction house and artist. In its heated complaint (which you can read here), the plaintiff accuses McCoy and Sotheby’s of “concerted efforts . . . to establish a false narrative concerning what is presumed to be the first NFT” and features numerous screenshots, including at least one Elmo meme. Read about the suit HERE.
Hayden v. Koons, 1:21-cv-10249-LGS (S.D.N.Y. filed Dec. 2, 2021).
In a case that has copyright nerds taking cold showers, the sculptor behind a serpent-wrapped sex stage has sued artist Jeff Koons for infringement. Koons used the platform, originally made for Italian adult-film star and politician Cicciolina (Ilona Staller), in his 1989 “Made in Heaven” series. Koons is no stranger to litigation and even cites two prior lawsuits in his February 4 motion to dismiss, which you can read here. Originally reported by Reuters.
Korsen v. Volkswagen et al., 2:21-cv-08893-DMG-SK (C.D.Ca. filed Nov 11, 2021).
Artist Jennifer Korsen sued Volkswagen and Marvel Entertainment last November for copyright infringement, among other claims. Volkswagen, which owns Audi, produced an Audi commercial in partnership with Marvel for its movie Avengers: Endgame, in which mural art by Korsen appears in the background. The parties settled quickly and the case was dismissed with prejudice on February 4, 2022. You can read the complaint here. No answers were ever filed.
Higgins v. Gladstone, No. 150934/2022 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. filed Jan. 31, 2022).
Nate Freeman reports for Vanity Fair that former Gladstone Gallery employee Laura Higgins has sued the gallery, its owner, Barbara Gladstone, and its manager, Max Falkenstein, for a litany of complaints, including retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and assault. As Freeman points out, art litigation is commonplace, but “[i]t’s much rarer to see low-level employees looking for legal redress from name-brand employers.” The case has divided the New York gallery community. You can read the complaint here.
Concannon v. Lego Systems, No. 3:21-cv-01678-JBA (Dis. of Conn. filed Dec. 17, 2021).
The Fashion Law Blog reported last month that artist and designer James Concannon is suing Lego for copyright infringement. When Lego released its Queer Eye set last year, the Antoni Porowski figurine included a bodice that mimicked a custom leather jacket designed for Porowski by Concannon. Concannon accuses Lego of “blatant disregard for his intellectual property rights and . . . willful infringement.” Read the complaint here.