Appeals Court Declines Request to Rehear O’Bannon Anti-Trust Case

Home » Blog »


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Get a Free Compliance Review

Our trusted legal counsel can help ensure your business stays compliant.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

December 17, 2015

o'bannonYesterday morning, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request for a full rehearing of an earlier ruling in the Ed O’Bannon anti-trust lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”). This decision could set the stage for either O’Bannon or the NCAA, which had opposed the rehearing, to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.


What was the decision that the Appeals Court refused to revisit?

Previously, a three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had unanimously affirmed the Northern District of California District Court Judge’s ruling that the NCAA’s limitation on student-athlete compensation violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by being too restrictive. O’Bannon’s appeal to the en banc review panel, however, was in connection with the Appellate Court’s decision to overturn the District Court’s injunctive ruling which had directed the NCAA to allow schools to pay athletes up to $5,000 per year in compensation for use of their names, images and likenesses (“NIL”).

Impact of O’Bannon Appeals Court Decision

As readers of this blog are aware, intellectual property rights exist with respect to a person’s name and likeness. The laws of at least 47 states have acknowledged a “right of publicity,” which grants an individual the right to prohibit third parties from commercializing his or her name, image, voice and/or likeness without permission. The decisions of the Appeals Court in the O’Bannon cases, however, have reaffirmed the NCAA’s right to prevent student-athletes from being compensated for use of their names, images or likenesses to the extent that such compensation is not related to expenses associated with attending school. Outside of the realm of college athletics, the risks associated with violating rights of publicity can be severe. Accordingly, it is important to remain vigilant about obtaining the written permission of any person whose name, image or likeness is explicitly used or otherwise serves as inspiration for a marketing campaign or commercial venture.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or pursuing a venture in this area, please e-mail us at, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.

Attorney Advertising

Similar blog posts:

MMA Fighter: Game Developer Used My Likeness Without Permission

NFL Players File Right of Publicity Class Action Against FanDuel

The Impact of the O’Bannon Ruling on the Collegiate Athletics Commercial Market and Fantasy Sports


Trending Topics

SMS Text Messages and the TCPA- Klein Moynihan Turco LLP

SMS Text Messaging and the TCPA

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging has become a ubiquitous form of communication for people over the last decade.  Consequently, marketers and advertisers who are

Read More »