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EA Sports won’t be beaten at its own game – Escaping potential liability through successful § 101 motion to dismiss

It has been a long-standing business practice in the video game industry to update sports video game parameters to reflect real-world developments. Who would want to play NBA Live 95 if it didn’t incorporate Michael Jordan’s...more

Originality in Remastering: CBS Secures Victory in War Over Rights to Play Oldies

CBS recently secured a potential landmark victory that could benefit radio stations, streaming services, and satellite radio providers—many of whom have been mired in litigation for years with owners of sound recordings of...more

32 Hours of Terms and Conditions

Norway has positioned itself as the leader in the “Slow TV” movement. I’m not sure it’s a movement, actually. Norway is really the only place I know of that this is going on (C-SPAN and golf aside). Slow TV is live coverage...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Current Status of Music Sampling Copyright Infringement And Sets Circuit Split For The Supreme Court

On June 2, 2016 the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in a music sampling Copyright infringement case that sets up a split between the Ninth Circuit and the Sixth Circuit which will likely send the issue to the Supreme Court. ...more

Tattoo Infringement Case Against NBA 2K Game Publisher Shows Misunderstanding of Applicability of Statutory Damages

This isn’t just another tattoo-copyright infringement case. This case raises an important lesson for all copyright claimants. The backstory: Solid Oak is a licensing firm that represents the go to tattoo artists for...more

Star Trek Fan Film: Yes, It WILL Boldly Go

As I reported in a recent blawg post, a Federal court in Los Angeles was set to decide just how far the Star Trek universe’s copyright reach extends. In the case of Paramount Pictures Corporation v. Axanar Productions, Inc.,...more

U.S. Trade Representative Issues 2016 Special 301 Report

On April 27th, Ambassador Michael B.G. Froman, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), issued the 2016 Special 301 Report. According to the USTR website, "[i]ntellectual property is a critical source of economic growth and...more

Summary Judgment Upheld In Avatar Creators’ Favor After California Appellate Court Determines That Film Is Not Substantially...

James Cameron’s 2009 box-office hit Avatar is the subject of a California idea submission lawsuit that was decided in Cameron’s favor both at the trial and appellate level, in Eric Ryder v. Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc., et...more

The Supreme Court - May 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States issued one decision on May 2, 2016: Ocasio v. United States, No. 14-361: Petitioner Samuel Ocasio, a former police officer, was tried and convicted under the Hobbs Act for...more

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

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