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When Is Making A Movie Not An Act Of Free Speech?

I admit that the title of this article may be a bit deceiving. Making films, like any other production of art, is almost always an act of free speech. However, the Ninth Circuit was recently faced with a dilemma of...more

Non-Compete Provisions And Forum Non Conveniens Considerations

Under California law, non-complete provisions are generally unenforceable. But what happens when the non-compete provision appears in an employment contract that is governed by another state’s law with a forum selection...more

Googling Google

“I googled it …” has become ubiquitous in every day conversation. Many of us refer to “googling” as the act of searching the internet regardless of whether we use the Google search engine to do so. But has our everyday use...more

The Fabric of Copyright Infringement: Obtaining Summary Judgment on Copying Element

Generally, the issue of copyright infringement presents issues of fact to be decided by a jury. However, when evidence that a design is so “substantially similar” to a copyrighted design, the trial court can find...more

Unauthorized Downloading and Copyright Infringement

Liability for copyright infringement can result when one downloads protected software without the copyright owner’s authorization. The Ninth Circuit was recently tasked with exploring the scope and reach of copyright...more

“It’s In The Game” – Proof Issues In Software Copyright Infringement Cases

A recent Ninth Circuit decision in Antonick v. Electronic Arts, Inc. (filed Nov. 22, 2016), shows some of the proof issues that a plaintiff may encounter in prosecuting claims for copyright infringement in connection with...more

Locksmith Locked Out By Communications Decency Act

The Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) provides broad immunity for “providers of interactive computer services.” In essence, if an internet service provider falls within certain parameters, it is entitled to immunity against...more

Trademark Assignability Laid Bare

Crazy Horse was a legendary Native American chief of the Oglala Lakota tribe who lived during the second half of the 1800s. Unfortunately today, his name may be more familiar as a brand for various products, such as...more

Copyright Infringement and the First Sale Defense

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in the case of Dolby Systems, Inc. v. Christenson, focuses primarily on the issue of which party bears the initial burden of proof with regard to a “first sale” defense in a copyright...more

Yoga and the Copyright Idea/Expression Dichotomy

Over the last half century there has been an explosion in the popularity of yoga in the United States, much of it attributable to Bikram Choudhury, the self-proclaimed “Yogi to the Stars.” In 1979, he published a book titled...more

Hidden Pitfalls of Old Non-Compete Provisions

Companies and employers around the country seek to protect their intellectual property by, among other things, using non-compete provisions in employment agreements. Generally, these provisions are intended to prevent an...more

Patent Infringement and Appellate Jurisdiction

In general, any appeal from a civil action involving claims of patent infringement must be made to the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. A recent case from the Ninth Circuit, Amity Rubberized Pen Company v. Market Quest...more

Are “No Rehire” Provisions in Settlement Agreements at Risk?

The use of “No Rehire” Provisions in settlement agreements between employers and their former employees allow employers to protect themselves against “boomerang” lawsuits. For instance, a former employee who claims he/she...more

Bob Marley and Federal False Endorsement Claims

Since his death in 1981, reggae superstar Bob Marley and his “image” continue to be broadly popular and command millions of dollars each year in merchandising revenue. ...more

Protecting Trademarks and the Likelihood of Confusion Factor

A few years ago, I wrote a column addressing a case in which Pom Wonderful LLC sued Coca Cola Company in connection with the marketing of one of its pomegranate-blueberry juice products. That case dealt with whether one of...more

Tech Companies Reach New Settlement in Anti-Poaching Cases

This blog has previously reported on the anti-poaching cases involving various tech companies in Silicon Valley.  The cases arise out of alleged agreements between various tech companies not to recruit each other’s...more

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