Copyright Infringement

News & Analysis as of

Federal Circuit Review | July 2016

Obvious Combinations Do Not Need to Be Physically Combinable - In Allied Erecting and Dismantling Co., Inc. v. Genesis Attachments, LLC, Appeal No. 2015-1533, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s invalidity finding...more

Unwanted Baggage: Asset Acquisition and Successor Liability

suitcase-1463298472AoUIf you buy the assets of a company, have you also acquired the liabilities for infringement associated with those assets? That is the issue addressed in a recent decision by the federal district court...more

Harry Potter And The Cursed Legal Update

It has been about a year since we published Harry Potter Lawsuits and Where to Find Them, my attempt at a comprehensive review of Harry Potter-related litigation. Why update the article now? Two reasons. First: The...more

Political campaigns face copyright and robocall liabilities

Though it seems to come as a surprise to many of them, politicians — even presidential candidates — have to live with the same intellectual property and communications laws that bedevil the rest of us....more

Avatar Wins Against Another Copyright Owner… in an Unusual Manner

A recent decision from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, ended the hopes and dreams of a copyright owner from receiving a share of the $2.8 billion earned by James Cameron’s Avatar film. In this...more

Melania Trump’s RNC Speech: Plagiarism, Copyright Infringement, or Both?

On the opening night of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, delivered a speech from the convention floor in support of Trump’s nomination. The speech was infused with rhetoric about such things...more

The Pleads Of The Many: 50 Years of Star Trek Lawsuits

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the premiere of the original series of Star Trek, which first aired on NBC in September 1966. On July 22, this milestone will be marked in earnest when Paramount Pictures releases...more

What You Need to Know About U.S. Law: You Really Need to Register Your Copyrights

As explained by the United States Supreme Court in Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, registering a copyright is an essential element of a cause of action for copyright infringement. Lesser appellate and trial courts have...more

Is Music Sampling Back En Vogue?

The mere mention of Madonna conjures many images and associations: feminism, reinvention, Kabbala, the cone bra, and her many memorable performances. But today we have yet another thing to associate with the Material Girl: an...more

Clark v. Dashner - USDC, D. New Mexico, June 30, 2016

District court dismisses author’s claims that film “The Maze Runner” and novel of same name infringed on copyright in his book The Maze, holding that similarities between works, including giant maze and robotic creatures, are...more

Brumley Heirs Win Fight over Rights to Old Gospel Song *WEB ONLY**

Addressing the termination right given to authors and their heirs under the Copyright Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that four siblings could use their right to terminate the transfer their...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - USCA, Eleventh Circuit, June 29, 2016

In most recent decision over The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings, Eleventh Circuit asks Florida Supreme Court to determine whether state law recognizes common law copyright in sound recordings and, if so, whether that...more

Second Circuit In Vimeo Narrows The Red Flag Knowledge and Willful Blindness Exceptions To DMCA Safe Harbors

The Second Circuit recently decided Capitol Records, LLC, et al. v. Vimeo, LLC (2d Cir. June 16, 2016) (“Vimeo”), a landmark decision concerning the interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the...more

Examiner.com Sails to Victory in DMCA Safe Harbor

Addressing whether the owner of a media website could invoke the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...more

Second Circuit Further Clarifies DMCA Safe Harbors in Vimeo

The Second Circuit recently decided Capitol Records, LLC, et al. v. Vimeo, LLC, (2d Cir. June 16, 2016) (Vimeo), a landmark decision concerning the interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the DMCA)....more

The Sweet Sounds Of Victory: Vimeo Llc Wins Appeal In Music Copyright Infringement Case

On June 16, 2016 Vimeo LLC heared the sweet sounds of victory as it won its appeal in a music copyright infringement case (Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC ) filed in 2009, that centered on the Digital Millennium Copyright...more

Campaign IP Violations Part 3 – Huckabee’s Campaign Pays Up

In December, we told you about Mike Huckabee’s campaign getting sued for copyright infringement for using “Eye of the Tiger” without permission at a rally supporting Kim Davis, the Tennessee clerk that refused to issue...more

Supreme Court Affirms Discretion to Award Fees in Copyright Suits, But Case Precedence Not Relevant

The Copyright Act states that the trial court “may…award” attorney’s fees to the prevailing party. Legal fees incurred by plaintiffs and defendants alike in copyright and other intellectual property cases can be staggering,...more

Statutory Damages for Infringement of your Copyrights and Trademarks

Statutory damages for copyright and trademark infringement are damages provided for under federal law, which is an advantage to the claimant because other types of damages (lost profits, compensatory damages) can be difficult...more

Don’t Be Unreasonable: U.S. Supreme Court Sets the Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Cases

You have just received a cease and desist letter related to something that was posted on your company’s website.  Some person that you’ve never heard of before is threatening to sue you for thousands of dollars for copyright...more

A $10 Billion Idea, without a Patent, is just an Idea

Have you ever seen an ad for something and thought to yourself, “Hey, I had that idea years ago!” Some people take that thought a step further. One Florida man claims to have invented the iPhone in 1992, and is suing Apple to...more

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc. - U.S. Supreme Court, June 16, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court holds “objective reasonableness” of losing party’s position is important factor but not controlling one in considering award of attorneys’ fees under Copyright Act. Graduate student Supap Kirtsaeng, a...more

Mayimba Music Inc. v. Sony/ATV Latin Music Publishing LLC - USDC, S.D. New York, June 9, 2016

District court awards defendants $400,000 in legal fees in copyright infringement suit over Shakira’s hit song “Loca,” in which plaintiff’s claims were shown to be based on fabricated evidence. In 2012, Mayimba Music...more

Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC - USCA, Second Circuit, June 16, 2016

In copyright infringement suit against user-generated video website Vimeo, Second Circuit holds that DMCA safe harbor protections apply to pre-1972 sound recordings, and that Vimeo is entitled to DMCA protections even though...more

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