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Henley Is Not Taking It Easy

According to music icon Don Henley, intellectual property rights are not a joking matter....more

UK: Freedom of Speech - Unnamed artist to appeal publishing injunction in the Supreme Court

On 9 December a well-known British performing artist was granted permission to take his case to the Supreme Court, where he will appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision in OPO v MLA & STL, reported here in October 2014....more

The New Private Copying Exception: The UK Music Industry Wants to be Paid for It

Three UK music industry organisations, the Musician’s Union, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, and UK Music, have recently launched a legal action seeking leave to apply for judicial review of the...more

A Trap For Santa: The First Santa Claus IP Fight

At this time of year, you may be wondering about the first intellectual property case involving Santa Claus. And even if you are not, we are going to tell you....more

Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy Company - USDC, S.D. New York, December 4, 2014

Following jury verdict in favor of Beastie Boys on copyright infringement and Lanham Act claims, district court denies defendant Monster Energy Company’s motions for judgment as matter of law, for new trial, and for reduction...more

The College Football Playoff™ college football playoff

This past Sunday, the College Football Playoff Committee unveiled the four college football teams that will be participating the very first playoff in college football. The festivities begin Jan. 1, 2015, with Oregon battling...more

Plot Thickens for Screenplay Infringement Cases

INTRODUCTION - For more than three decades no type of lawsuit has been more likely to fail than those asserting that the latest hit movie or television series infringes the copyright in a screenplay or other literary...more

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of publisher of military-action video game Call of Duty: Ghosts on trademark...more

The Sum of All Parts: Second and Ninth Circuits Poised to Address Movie “Authorship”

“There are no small parts, only small actors.” So says the film and theater maxim most frequently attributed to Russian actor and director Constantin Stanislavski. But how small a contribution is enough for an actor or...more

On December 15, 2014, The Ninth Circuit En Banc Will Hear Garcia v. Google, Inc./Actors And Producers Await The Result

On Monday, December 15, 2014, the Ninth Circuit en banc will hear argument in Garcia v. Google, Inc. 766 F3d 929 (9th Cir. 2014), amending 743 F.3d 1258 (9th Cir. 2014). A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit previously...more

Music Publishers Bring Contributory Copyright Claims Against ISP for Infringing Activities of Subscribers

In a novel lawsuit that tests the bounds of service provider liability, two music publishers brought suit against an ISP for contributory copyright infringement for allegedly facilitating infringement by failing to terminate...more

Angry Monkey See, Angry Monkey Sue

Video games have come a long way since I was a kid. I grew up with a pixelated plumber jumping on on turtles with frozen facial expression. Sometimes it is hard to believe how far video games have developed, with games like...more

Business Round Up: The News and the Views

Thomas Pink Ltd v Victoria’s Secret UK Ltd [2014] EWHC 2631 (Ch) Two particular points for brand owners to take away from the decision: 1. If faced with an invalidity challenge on the grounds of s3(1)(b) or (c)...more

China Court Ruled Infringement for Ambush Marketing in Film Industry

The term “Ambush Marketing” originally came from inappropriate sport advertisement in western countries. It involves a marketing strategy wherein the advertisers associate themselves with, and therefore capitalize on, a...more

Gaye Don't Got To Give It Up

Years before I was a lawyer, I saw Vanilla Ice on The Tonight Show. Jay Leno asked whether his song, Ice Ice Baby (listen to seconds 8-24) sounds like David Bowie’s Under Pressure (listen to seconds 9-20). I’ve not seen a...more

Judge Sweet trims award of attorney’s fees because of block billing and claims for fees for a non-compulsory defense; issues final...

Touchtunes Music Corp. v. Rowe International Corp., Arachnid, Inc., et al. October 21, 2014 - Case Number: 1:07-cv-11450-RWS - Judge Sweet, having previously found this case to be exceptional, awarded...more

Federal Government Wins Trademark Battle to Shut Down “Voice of America” Website with “Undeniable Governmental Aesthetic”

Since its first broadcast on February 1, 1942, the Voice of America radio service (VOA) has aired countless hours of programming in dozens of languages to what is currently an estimated global audience of over 100 million...more

Court Finds Poker Game Management Patents Valid Under Section 101

In denying a motion for summary judgment of invalidity under Section 101, the court stated: "An inability to articulate an abstract idea to which claims are directed may be a clue that those claims satisfy Section 101." The...more

Ninth Circuit to Reconsider the Curious Copyright Case Requiring YouTube to Take Down All Copies of Anti-Islamic Film

Earlier this year, Socially Aware noted a peculiar decision out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holding that an actress owns a copyright interest in her five-second performance in a film and thus could demand the...more

Unregistered Design Rights: The Karen Millen Case

The recent decision of the CJEU in the Karen Millen case provides important guidance to fashion designers and retailers who rely on unregistered design rights in their designs according to the Council Regulation (EC) No....more

Three Point Shot - November 2014

Florida Broker Denied Assist in Argentine Soccer Media Rights Deal - 2014 has been a decent year for soccer – ahem, fútbol – in Argentina. An Argentine club team (San Lorenzo) won the 2014 Copa Libertadores, South...more

Use of Porn Star Images in “Romance Fraud” Dating Profiles Fails to Support Trademark and False Advertising Claims

The plaintiff in Avalos v. IAC/Interactive Corp. called it “one of the biggest conspiracies ever executed on the internet” — the unauthorized use of images of adult film stars in fake online dating profiles. But in an opinion...more

Vijay v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, October 27, 2014

Vijay v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, October 27, 2014: District court declines to find that preemption warrants dismissal of all claims brought by actor in “Titanic,” but grants...more

Aereo Loses Bid to Resume Operations

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Aereo, Inc., an online streaming service, was violating copyrights by retransmitting television broadcasts without the networks’ permission. The Court’s decision was based upon its...more

Warner Bros.’ Super Victory: U.S. Supreme Court Effectively Ends Lengthy Superman Copyright Dispute

Warner Bros. and its DC Comics subsidiary can now breathe a bit easier, as the U.S. Supreme Court has recently declined to intervene in the ongoing dispute over the ownership rights to Superman. And so ends (at least for...more

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