Copyright Infringement

News & Analysis as of

Using Pop Culture References in Advertisements? Just Do It Right

In this age of smartphone cameras and hashtags, an impromptu remark or a right place-at-the-right-time snapshot can “go viral” and create instant and immense goodwill. Businesses today use social media as a tool to promote...more

Kullberg v. Pure Flix Entertainment LLC - USDC, C.D. California, October 12, 2016

District court dismisses screenwriters’ copyright infringement suit against Christian film “God’s Not Dead” for lack of substantial similarity to plaintiffs’ screenplay. ...more

TCA TV Corp. v. McCollum - USCA, Second Circuit, October 11, 2016

Second Circuit rejects fair use defense in copyright action brought by Abbott and Costello heirs for use of comic duo’s “Who’s On First?” routine in play “Hand to God,” but affirms dismissal on grounds that plaintiffs failed...more

Trick or Tweet? Team Trump Gets Sued Over Skittles Twitter Pic

Life may not be bowl of cherries for Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign these days. It’s more like a bowl of Skittles, as that is exactly what landed Team Trump in a copyright infringement suit filed in Chicago federal court...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: The Slants, The Sims and SCAR Rifles

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies Washington Redskins' Petition to Join Proceedings - Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies...more

Ohio Court Holds Software Audit Demand Is a Claim Under D&O Policy

In its recent decision in Eighth Floor Promotions v. The Cincinnati Ins. Cos., 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 4119 (Oct. 11, 2016), the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third Appellate District, had occasion to consider whether an audit...more

Iron Man Composer Battles Tech Giant Sony and Ghostface Killah

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of the composer of the 1960s Iron Man theme song, finding material facts in dispute as to whether the song was commissioned as a work for hire. Jack Urbont v. Sony...more

Infringement of Microscope Photos Yields Magnified Damages

Addressing several issues concerning damages in a copyright infringement case, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed a jury’s award of $1.6 million to a stem-cell photographer, but vacated and remanded the...more

Ninth Circuit Provides a Second Look at Willful Copyright Infringement **WEB ONLY**

In a case stemming from a copyright dispute over photographs of the legendary hip hop group Run-DMC, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a music...more

Copyright Infringement – Plaintiff Not Required to Prove Copies Are Unauthorized **WEB ONLY**

Correcting a transcription error in a prior decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit confirmed that a plaintiff does not have to prove that infringing copies are unauthorized as part of a prima facie case of...more

Copyright: Europe Explores Its Boundaries - European Court Rules That Hyperlinking May Constitute Copyright Infringement

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that, in certain circumstances, the act of posting a hyperlink to copyrighted works without the author’s consent may constitute copyright infringement. The crucial...more

Lawsuit Involving IP Protection for a Lamp

Last week a federal lawsuit was filed in Minnesota by Blu Dot to protect alleged intellectual property rights in the floor lamp shown on the left below. The accused “strikingly and confusingly similar” floor lamp shown on the...more

Know Thy Software Vendor: Website Operator Cannot Sidestep Copyright Infringement Claims over Link to Allegedly Infringing...

Last month, a New York district court refused to dismiss most of the copyright infringement claims asserted against a website operator based on an allegation that the website linked to an infringing copy of plaintiff’s...more

Intellectual Property for President 2016

The 2016 Presidential election season has produced moments of strife, humor, shock, and even a little magic. Most importantly, however, this election season has also provided us with plenty of IP fodder....more

BIA Ruling May Have Pushed 'Moral Turpitude' Too Far

Priya Sopori was quoted in a Law360 article on October 3, 2016, discussing a recent ruling by The Board of Immigration (BIA) stating that criminal copyright infringement is a “crime involving moral turpitude” and can lead to...more

Hot News, Shredded Wheat and Wool Underwear: Brandeis On Copyright And Trademark

October 9 marks the 100th anniversary of Louis Brandeis’ first session as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (October 9, 1916 was the second Monday in October – in 1917, the Court began meeting on the first...more

District Court Denies Motion To Dismiss In Popcorn App Copyright Fight

This summer, the competition for popcorn popping mobile apps heated up as the creators of “Perfect Popcorn” and “iMunchies” battled over copyright infringement claims. On July 18, 2016, a judge in the Northern District of...more

Beyoncé’s copyright case was destined for dismissal

For an entertaining education in how to analyze copyrightable similarity, you can’t do much better than U.S. District Cout Judge Jed S. Rakoff’s decision in Fulks v. Knowles-Carter (which you may wish to think of as Fulks v....more

Sisyphus Touring Inc. v. TMZ Productions Inc. - USDC, Central District of California, September 23, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement suit brought by actor and musician Jared Leto against for posting video of him criticizing Taylor Swift, finding Leto did not own video and videographer validly...more

Social Copycats: Is a Social Media User Infringing On Your Intellectual Property Rights?

Social media platforms present great opportunity for brands to gain visibility and attract followers.   But what if another user is using your brand name or a confusingly similar brand name to promote a competing business?...more

European Court Of Justice: Linking To Playboy Pics May Infringe Copyright

On September 8, 2016, the European Court of Justice rendered a controversial decision in GS Media v. Sanoma Media, which has been acclaimed by copyright holders and heavily criticized by internet companies....more

Copyright Alert: The European Union Exposes Websites to Copyright Liability for Linking to Infringing Material of Third Parties

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on September 8, 2016 that websites that merely link to infringing material (instead of copying it) can be liable for copyright infringement. If this decision, GS Media BV v....more

The Underwear Heist

On September 20, 2016, Intimateco, LLC filed suit against Bliss Lingerie Corp., its founder – the former Intimateco Vice President of Operations – and related parties for trademark and copyright infringement, and related...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: RunDMC, Stem Cells and Pirates

Copyright Opinions - Unauthorized Copying Not an Element of Prima Facie Infringement Case: Ali v. Final Call, Inc., No 15-2963 (7th Cir. Aug. 10, 2016) - Wood, J. In a suit alleging copyright infringement through...more

Advanced Copyright Issues on the Internet

During recent years, the Internet has become the basic foundational infrastructure for the global movement of data of all kinds. With continued growth at a phenomenal rate, the Internet has moved from a quiet means of...more

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