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Weekly Web Wrap-Up

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team. Here are some of the...more

Google Books Survives Legal Challenge - Supreme Court Declines to Address Book-Digitization Project

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari over a Second Circuit decision (Authors’ Guild v. Google Inc.) affirming that Google’s project of digitizing, and making available online for searching, tens of millions of...more

Supreme Court Decides Not to Reopen the Google Books Litigation

Last October, the 2nd Circuit held that the Google Books project qualified as fair use. The decision came after a decade long legal battle between the Authors Guild and Google. The Authors Guild appealed the case to the...more

Stairway To Heaven: Did Led Zeppelin Spirit It Away?

Last year, I wrote a post about a case that was about to be filed challenging the authorship of Led Zeppelin’s rock classic, “Stairway to Heaven.”. Two weeks after that post, a lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Federal...more

Bottom of the Ninth Disclosure of New Damages Theory Warrants More Discovery

In a recent opinion in a patent infringement case concerning a baseball pitching simulator, Judge Vanessa Bryant in the District of Connecticut issued an order to administratively close the case, pending further damages...more

The Dancing Baby Returns: Computer Algorithms, Good Faith and Fair Use

In “The Case of Prince, a Dancing Baby and the DMCA Takedown Notice,” we discussed the potential impact of the Ninth Circuit decision in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126 (2015), a.k.a. the “dancing baby case,” in...more

Star Trek Fan Film: Will It Boldly Go?

A Federal court in Los Angeles is set to decide just how far the Star Trek universe’s copyright reach extends. In an interesting case that is being closely followed in the entertainment industry, Paramount Pictures...more

"Dancing Baby" Decision Affects DMCA Notice-and-Takedown Provision

Ninth Circuit Amends "Dancing Baby" Decision: Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., Nos. 13-16106, 13-16107 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2016) - On March 17, 2016, the Ninth Circuit amended its prior opinion in the famed "Dancing Baby"...more

IP Newsflash - March 2016 #3

FEDERAL CIRCUIT CASES - “Bust!” — Federal Circuit Deals Tough News to Inventors of Card Game - The Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) determination of unpatentability for claims...more

Criminal Sanctions in a Trade Secret Dispute

Just a few days after the Major League Baseball season opens next month, former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa will attend a sentencing hearing where he faces to up to five years in prison, a $250,000...more

Ninth Circuit Does a Two-Step in “Dancing Baby” Case

While many were focused on “The Big Dance” on March 17, 2016, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals did some “dancing” of its own. The Court issued a revised opinion in Lenz v. Universal and thereby amended what has been referred...more

Hugh Jackman’s Conundrum: Can the Blockchain Revitalize the First Sale Doctrine Under Copyright Law?

Blockchain technology offers new possibilities for owners to sell digital copies of “pre-owned” content on secondary markets, as we’ve discussed in prior posts. But virtual flea markets – where an owner of a collection of...more

Google is Reimagining Writing and Publishing (if the Supreme Court Will Let It)

Google, or its parent company Alphabet, is the most valuable company in the world. It doesn't want for much and, least of all, for ambition and imagination. So its revolutionary Google Library project, to catalog and...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review

Summaries of Recent Precedential and Informative Appellate Opinions - January 29 – February 26 Copyright Opinions - CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. FilmOn.com, Inc., No. 14-3123-cv (2d Cir. Feb 16, 2016): Second...more

Copyright Office Issues NOI Regarding DMCA, Seeks Comment on “Repeat Infringers”

On Dec. 31, 2015, the U.S. Copyright Office published a Notice of Inquiry seeking to “evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the DMCA safe harbor provisions” found at 17 U.S.C. § 512. Comments in response to the Notice of...more

Dismissal but No Fees for Innocent BitTorrent Defendant - Killer Joe Nevada, LLC v. Leaverton

Addressing whether a copyright infringement action based solely on IP addresses is frivolous or unreasonable, such that attorneys’ fees should be awarded upon dismissal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit...more

Athletic Shoe Lawsuits are Off and Running

Sneakers have been around for a very long time – at least since the late 1800’s. The first patent for a rubber heel for shoes was granted in 1899, and the first patent for “athletic shoes” issued in 1921, although it related...more

Copyright, Content, and Platforms – This Week’s Odds and Ends

The increase—about twenty-five percent over this year’s budget—could help towards the Copyright Office’s goal of making registration and other transactions simple, transparent, and technologically savvy, as laid out by the...more

Patenting the Avocado: A California Story with a Classic Recipe

Guacamole and chips are the ultimate in Super Bowl Sunday comfort food nowadays. During the Panthers/Broncos game, the California Avocado Commission tweeted its own commentary, offering recipes that paired avocados with food...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - February 2016

Be Reasonable: The U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Review the Standard for Awarding Attorneys' Fees to the Prevailing Party in Copyright Infringement Suits - Why it matters: On January 15, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court...more

Popular Fantasy Football Draft Companies In Lawsuit Over Patent Infringement

Anyone who knows about fantasy leagues—or watches any professional or collegiate games—has undoubtedly heard of DraftKings and FanDuel. Both companies offer a Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) gaming website that allows people to...more

Second Circuit Holds Google Books Is Fair Use

In a much anticipated decision, handed down in October of last year, the Second Circuit held Google Books to be a fair use of the copyrighted works Google digitized, catalogued, and offered for on-line searching. The Second...more

Insert Coin

Those of you who occasionally read my posts may have noticed that video games are a hobby and interest of mine. I have posted on issues involving video games several times. See Executing Noriega, Flash in the Panama, Calling...more

Baseball Executive Caught Stealing, Pleads Guilty To Violation Of Computer Fraud And Abuse Act

A scandal in America's Pastime has culminated with a baseball executive, Christopher Correa, pleading guilty on January 8, 2016 to violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA"), 18 U.S.C. § 1030, et seq. The guilty plea...more

Stealing Bases Okay; Stealing Data Not So Much

On January 8, 2016, Christopher Correa, the former director of Baseball Development for the St. Louis Cardinals, pleaded guilty to each count of a five-count criminal information, charging him with felony violations of...more

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