Sony Music ends copyright fight with Gymshark over social media posts

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Pedestrians are reflected in a logo of Sony Corp outside its showroom in Tokyo July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

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  • Sony Music said Gymshark misused hundreds of songs in ads
  • Parties agreed Tuesday to drop court dispute

(Reuters) - Sony Music has agreed to drop a lawsuit against Gymshark over the British fitness-apparel startup's alleged misuse of its songs, court documents show.

The companies said in a Tuesday filing in Los Angeles federal court that they agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, which means it can't be refiled.

Sony Music's attorney Rollin Ransom of Sidley Austin confirmed Wednesday that the parties settled the dispute. He declined to offer additional details.

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Sony Music sued Gymshark last year, claiming the company had soundtracked its social media ads with hundreds of songs by some of the label's most popular artists -- like Beyonce, Harry Styles, and Britney Spears -- without its permission.

Solihull, England-based Gymshark has been valued at over $1 billion, and opened its first U.S. distribution center last year.

The complaint said Gymshark promotes its products largely through platforms like TikTok and Instagram, and said its alleged infringement in those "social media commercials" was "blatant, willful, and repeated."

Sony Music said Gymshark has over 7 million engaged social media followers, and over 60 million when counting the influencers it hires to promote its products.

The label also said it licenses songs to Gymshark competitors like Nike and Under Armour.

Gymshark hasn't responded to the complaint in court, and the company declined to comment Wednesday.

The case is Sony Music Entertainment v. Gymshark Ltd, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, No. 2:21-cv-05731.

For Sony Music: Rollin Ransom of Sidley Austin

For Gymshark: Staci Trager of Nixon Peabody

Read more:

Sony Music sues Gymshark for misusing 'hundreds' of songs in ads

(NOTE: This story has been updated with to add comment from a lawyer for Sony and that Gymshark declined to comment.)

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com