Andy King owns a small sandwich shop in Boca Raton, Florida. The shop is called “Andy The Burger King” and has been open for about one month.
Andy sells typical “burger place” food, including hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, onion rings, sodas and milkshakes. As a nod to his Cuban heritage – his mother was born in Havana – he also sells Cuban sandwiches in two sizes: “The Regular” and “The Whopper.”
In his shop, Andy enjoys playing a variety of music over the speaker system. Generally, he plays whatever music he recently bought on his own and downloaded to his iTunes account. Lately, his favorite to play for his customers has been “Night Visions,” an album by the band Imagine Dragons.
Andy receives two letters in the mail. The first is from the Burger King Corporation, demanding that he cease and desist the use of the name of his restaurant and the name of the large Cuban sandwich. The second is from Broadcast Music, Inc., on behalf of Imagine Dragons, advising that he must pay royalty fees to the band or stop playing the music. Both companies write that if action is not taken immediately, they will sue Andy.
What are the basics for each potential lawsuit, what are the legal analysis (including the “elements” of each legal claim) that each plaintiff (Burger King and BMI/Imagine Dragons) could use to make its argument, what defenses could Andy use, and how do you think that each case would be decided in court?
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