Frank M. Caprio, chair of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings’ Intellectual Property Practice Group, was quoted in Adweek regarding a suit brought against Safeway by basketball legend Michael Jordan. A jury decided that Safeway owed Jordan $8.9 million in damages for running a congratulatory ad in Sports Illustrated that used the star’s name without permission.
“It’s one thing to say ‘Hey, congratulations, Michael Jordan’,” said Frank Caprio, a patent and trade law attorney. “I don’t know if I would be subject to any sort of liability. But if I said, ‘Congratulations, Michael Jordan. I’m a big fan. Come buy a car at my dealership,’ then you’re getting into trouble.”
Jordan’s case revolved around the grocery chain’s violation of the Illinois Right of Publicity Act, which outlines an individual’s right to control and choose how his or her identity is used for commercial purposes. Caprio explained that using another person’s name or image is like using another company’s trademark.
The complete article, “How Not to Get Sued By Michael Jordan, or Any Celeb, Over a Simple Congrats Ad,” appeared in Adweek on September 4, 2015.