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Charles Dickens And Copyright Law: Five Things You Should Know

One hundred and seventy five years ago, on January 22, 1842, Charles Dickens first set foot in America, specifically in Boston, after a twenty day steamship voyage from Liverpool. Dickens, only a few days shy of his thirtieth...more

Canadian IP law and practice in 2016: reviewing the highlights

As the calendar turns the page from 2016 to 2017, we take the opportunity to review Canadian IP law and practice highlights from the past year....more

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on January 18, 2017 in “The Slants” Case.

As we reported to you last September, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case involving the constitutionality of the provisions of the Lanham Act upon which the U.S. Trademark Office relied to deny registration of the...more

It’s a Game Winning Shot but Far from a Slam Dunk: Michael Jordan Obtains Partial Victory in Chinese Courts over Use of His Name

In December 2016, China’s Supreme Court held that a Chinese manufacturer named Qiaodan Sports Company, could not continue to produce athletic shoes, clothing and gear bearing the trademark (see article), which is the Chinese...more

Failure to Introduce Source Code of Original Work Fatal to Claim Against Alleged Derivative Work

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed an order dismissing a breach of contract action, finding that the plaintiff failed as a matter of law to establish copyright infringement under the copyright law—upon...more

Surrender Dorothy: Court Upholds Damages, Injunction for Movie Content Infringement

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment and permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from licensing images from movies owned by the plaintiff. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., et al....more

UPDATE: BOSTON’S Founder and a Former Bandmate Still Seek Peace of Mind

We have written previously about Scholz v. Goudreau, No. 13-CV-10951 (D. Mass.); the case recently went to trial on the parties’ surviving claims, and they are now immersed in post-trial briefing....more

NY Common Law Does Not Provide Creators With Control Over Public Performances of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) issued a landmark state copyright law decision, holding in response to a certified question from the Second Circuit in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius...more

New York Court of Appeals Says No Common Law Public Performance Right For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, held that no common law public performance right exists for pre-1972 sound recordings. The issue of whether a common law public performance...more

Louis Vuitton Left Holding the Bag

In Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag, Inc., [16-241-cv] (December 22, 2016), the Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for My Other Bag that its parody bag did not infringe or dilute Louis Vuitton’s trademark...more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

Supreme Court Corner - Q4 2016

CASES WE ARE WATCHING Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. - COPYRIGHT – Cert. Pending ISSUE: Whether, in sending a takedown notice under the DMCA, the copyright holder’s “good faith belief” of copyright infringement may be...more

Not Gone with the Wind: IP Rights Despite Public Domain Images

In 2006, Warner Bros. filed suit against A.V.E.L.A., X One X Productions, and ArtNostalgia.com, Inc. (collectively, “AVELA”) for copyright and trademark infringement under the Copyright Act, the Lanham Act, and state law....more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: John Madden Football, Rhett Butler and the Commerce Clause

Copyright Opinions - Absence of Source Code for Video Games Results in JMOL of Non-Infringement: Antonick v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. 14-15298 (9th Cir. Nov. 22, 2016). Hurwitz, J. In a suit for royalties on EA's...more

French Justice In A California Court: Copyright, Picasso And The “Astreinte”

The peoples of France and the United States tend to view things very differently — Jerry Lewis, berets and processed cheese food, to name just a few. Law sometimes transcends this divide – for example, French and American...more

Michael Jordan’s Great Win in China—or Is It?

On December 8, 2016, Beijing time, the China Supreme People’s Court issued a public decision granting Michael Jordan a win in his four-year battle over the right to own his name in Chinese characters. But the win was not a...more

Stop the Music: $25 Million Verdict Intact Despite Party’s Intentional Spoliation of Evidence

The court entered final judgment, upholding the jury’s findings and denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial, finding that harsher sanctions for the plaintiff’s intentional spoliation of material evidence were not...more

Football Association Premier League Limited v Luxton [2016] EWCA Civ 1097

Sports rights holders and sports broadcasters will be reassured as a result of a recent Court of Appeal (“CoA”) decision, which prevented a pub owner in Swansea from using a foreign-purchased domestic decoder card to show...more

Is Coopting Graffiti's Street Cred a Fair Use?

Estate of Graffiti Artist Sues McDonald’s Over Fast-Food Décor - The estate of Dashiell “Dash” Snow, better known as graffiti artist “Secret Snow”—has sued McDonald’s over allegedly infringing use of Snow’s street art...more

Not All Repeat Infringer Policies Are Sufficient for Safe Harbor Protection

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated a grant of summary judgment that a defendant had a reasonably implemented repeat infringer policy and therefore qualified for safe harbor protection under the Digital...more

Termination of Distribution Agreement Does Not Affect Licenses to Cloud-Based Access

After finding that a copyright infringement question analyzed by the district court was more properly a contract interpretation issue, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that...more

“Who’s on First?” Routine in Broadway Play Strikes Out as Transformative Fair Use

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit determined that a Broadway play’s verbatim use of William “Bud” Abbott and Lou Costello’s “Who’s on First?” comedy routine was not a transformative fair use, but nonetheless...more

9th Circuit opens door to damages against retailers carrying infringing works

One of the attractions of copyright law is that copyright owners can recover substantial damages (which can go up to $150,000 in cases of willful infringement) without having to prove actual losses. But generally these...more

Second Circuit Provides Much-Needed Guidance to ISPs Seeking DMCA Safe Harbors for New Technologies

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit provides ISPs seeking to introduce new technologies much-needed guidance concerning the scope of statutory copyright liability safe harbors. In Capitol...more

DJ Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Get “Funked” With New Copyright Suit Over “Uptown Funk”

On Friday, October 28, 2016, musicians Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars were hit with a copyright infringement suit based on their wildly popular hit “Uptown Funk.” The plaintiffs, consisting of one living member and the estates...more

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