A Copyright is an exclusive legal right granted to the creator of an original work to license, copy, sell, distribute, or otherwise exploit the work for his or her own benefit.
News & Analysis as of

Code Copying Case Highlights Difficulty in Getting a Preliminary Injunction

Continuing the trend in recent years of injunctions becoming harder and harder to obtain, the Northern District of California denied a motion for a preliminary injunction where the defendant has allegedly copied the...more

Drawing a Line in the Floor—Courts Are Struggling With the Overlap Between Design Patent and Copyright

In 2003 the U.S. Supreme Court in Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. emphasized that “[t]he rights of a patentee or copyright holder are part of a ‘carefully crafted bargain,’… under which, once the patent or...more

Monkeying with Copyrights: Who Owns the Monkey Selfies? A Lesson in Copyright Ownership

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of a crested macaque monkey, who famously snapped a smiling selfie of himself using wildlife photographer David...more

Did the DMCA Hinder Researchers in Discovering VW’s Emissions Defeat Device?

By now, everyone has probably heard about the Volkswagen “emissions scandal” involving the company’s alleged use of software on its vehicles that evaded testing to pass emission standards. Amidst this, several articles...more

Patent Owners Beware: Don’t Sleep on Your Rights!

Laches, a judicially created defense based on the plaintiff’s delay and prejudice to the defendant, is a proper defense to the recovery of damages in a patent infringement suit, even though the Supreme Court ruled in 2014...more

Bikram Yoga in the Hot Seat As Ninth Circuit Affirms Yoga Sequence Not Copyrightable

No matter how graceful the flow or beautiful the poses may be, the Federal Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit held that Bikram Choudhury’s sequence known as Bikram Yoga – 26 poses performed in the same order over 90 minutes...more

Court Fashions Hybrid Approach to Determining Whether Garment Designs Are Copyrightable - Varsity Brands et al. v. Star Athletica

Addressing for the first time the question of whether “cheerleading uniforms [are] truly cheerleading uniforms without the stripes, chevrons, zigzags, and color blocks” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit answered...more

Motion to Quash Service Is Not a Collateral Order and Therefore Not Appealable - United States v. Sinovel Wind Grp. Co.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit concluded that the district court’s denial of defendant Sinovel’s motion to quash service of process is not an appealable order under the collateral order doctrine. The Court...more

Ray Charles Foundation Can Challenge Heirs’ Attempt to Reclaim Copyrights - Ray Charles Foundation v. Robinson et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of a suit brought by the sole beneficiary of the Ray Charles estate, concluding that the Ray Charles Foundation had standing to challenge...more

Chicken Sandwich Recipe, Name Not Eligible for Copyright Says First Circuit - Colón-Lorenzana v. South American Rest. Corp.

Neither a chicken sandwich recipe nor its name is eligible for copyright protection. Colón-Lorenzana v. South American Rest. Corp., Case No. 14-1698 (1st Cir., Aug. 21, 2015) (Howard, C.J.)....more

Royalty Allocations for Royalty Pools Must Be Well Reasoned and Based on a Record - Settling Devotional Claimants v. Copyright...

Addressing the reasonableness of the Copyright Royalty Board’s (Board) decision allocating a pool of royalties among several parties for the retransmission of copyrighted material by cable system operators, the U.S. Court of...more

Licensing Agent Has Standing to Bring Copyright Infringement Suit - Minden Pictures, Inc. v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Addressing the issue of whether a photograph licensing agent has standing to bring an infringement suit under the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision, concluding...more

The Complications of Copyrighted Images in the Yellow Pages - Yellow Pages Photos, Inc. v. Ziplocal, LP

Reviewing a spectrum of copyright-related issues following the conclusion of a jury trial, the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court, concluding that willful copyright infringement...more

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Features Key Developments in Intellectual Property and Information Technology

On October 5, the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) countries announced that they had resolved all remaining issues and reached a final agreement on the long-anticipated regional free-trade agreement. As King & Spalding...more

Trans-Pacific Partnership May Have Far-Reaching Consequences for U.S. Industry

This week, the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries decided the final terms of what they report is a far-reaching agreement (Agreement or TPP Agreement). The 12 TPP countries are Australia, Brunei Darussalam,...more

Fifty-eight Problems and Trademarks Are Just One: Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kanye, Pharrell and Rihanna Sue Fashion Retailer

It’s become a hard-knock life for ElevenParis, a French fashion retailer with stores in the U.S. After selling t-shirts and other merchandise with these not-so-subtle designs...more

The 3D Printing Revolution: Prepare for the Risks, Leverage the Opportunities

3D printing is not just for tchotchkes anymore. Technological advancement paired with decreasing costs to build and/or purchase 3D printers create the perfect storm for the next industrial revolution. ...more

Are You Sharing or Relinquishing Your Rights on Social Media?

Considering the meteoric growth of social media websites like Facebook—which had 1.44 billion active users in the first quarter of 2015[1]--the ecosystem of individuals and businesses that should be cognizant of the legal...more

Intellectual Property: Happy Birthday to You (10/15)

If you have ever been to a Chili’s restaurant, odds are you have heard this birthday jingle. Perhaps you have also heard different birthday greetings at other chain restaurants. More likely than not, you have not heard any...more

First Circuit Clarifies Rights of Co-Author of Joint Derivative Work to Make Further Derivatives

In a squabble between two psychologists over rights to books about “explosive” children, the First Circuit weighed in this summer with an opinion holding that a work of authorship under the Copyright Act can be simultaneously...more

On Slanted Arguments and Red Herrings

Last Friday, both slanted arguments and red herrings were present during the 90 minute en banc oral argument before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in In re Tam....more

A Trend for Retailers to Avoid – Copyright Infringement Lawsuits Over Clothing

Textile Copyright Infringement Claims on the Rise - Katy Perry received a lot of attention for the dress she wore to the Met Ball this year, and not all of it was welcome. A Brooklyn artist thought that the dress was an...more

Making a Monkey Out of Copyright

The Monkey Selfie Caper apparently has legs, as they say in the news business. Long legs with opposable toes. (For background, see our earlier post: Monkey See, Monkey Do… However Monkey Does Not Enjoy Copyright Protection)...more

Music Publisher Caught in Birthday Suit

In 2013, Good Morning to You Productions Corp., Rupa Marya and Robert Siegel (collectively “GMTY”) filed a class action suit against Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., one of the largest music publishing companies in the world and...more

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Copyright Holder’s Responsibility When Sending A Takedown Notice Under The DMCA

In July, this author wrote about Lenz v. Universal which, at the time, was pending before the 9th Circuit. On September 14, 2015 the 9th Circuit came down with a ruling which answered whether a copyright owner must consider...more

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