Copyright Supreme Court of the United States

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.
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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

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

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

The Kirtsaeng Opinion: Supreme Court Guidance on Attorneys’ Fees Awards in Copyright Cases

Recently, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court provided substantial guidance in an unsettled area of law by holding that, when deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees under 17 U.S.C. §505, the...more

Supreme Court In Kirstaeng V Wiley: Objective Reasonableness Not Controlling For Attorney Fees

The case of Kirstaeng v. Wiley hit the headlines in 2013 when the Supreme Court held that importation and sale in the United States of books bought from the copyright owner in Thailand was not an infringement of copyright,...more

Supreme Court Injects Uncertainty Into Attorney’s Fee Awards in Copyright Cases

The day after it liberalized the standard for awarding enhanced damages in patent cases, a unanimous Supreme Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Kagan, substantially broadened lower courts’ discretion in granting...more

High Court Eases Ability to Recover Enhanced Remedies in Patent and Copyright Cases

Within the past week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two unanimous rulings that could make it easier for prevailing parties in patent cases to recover enhanced damages and for winning parties in copyright cases to recover...more

The Importance of Being Earnest and Objectively Reasonable

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. continues to make controlling copyright law, visiting the U.S. Supreme Court for the second time on an issue of great importance to copyright owners and litigants. This time, the issued...more

Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Supreme Court Sets Standard for Attorney Fee Awards in Copyright Cases

In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that in considering whether to award attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party as an element of “costs” under the Copyright Act, a court should give substantial weight...more

Objective Reasonableness Can Be Central to Fee-Shifting Analysis in Copyright Cases

In Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the Supreme Court clarified the test for awarding attorney’s fees when applying the Copyright Act’s discretionary fee-shifting provision, 17 U.S.C. § 505. The Court held that the...more

“Objective Reasonableness” is a Primary Factor, But Not the Sole Factor, When Determining a Fee Award in a Copyright Case

FACTS: John Wiley & Sons (“Wiley”) filed a lawsuit against Supap Kirtsaeng (“Kirtsaeng”) when it discovered that Kirtsaeng’s family and friends abroad were purchasing Wiley textbooks at a discounted rate and shipping them to...more

The Double-Edged Sword: Supreme Court Holds “Objective Reasonableness” Important But Not Dispositive in Copyright Act Fee Awards

It is a common misperception that a party will automatically recover its attorneys’ fees if it prevails in an action for copyright infringement. First, certain statutory requirements must be met in order to qualify for the...more

"Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees Under the Copyright Act"

On June 16, 2016, in an 8-0 decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 579 U.S. __, the U.S. Supreme Court held that when district courts determine whether or not to award discretionary attorney fees to prevailing...more

Supreme Court: Courts Must Take into Account “Relevant Factors” before Awarding Fees in Copyright Cases

Supap Kirtsaeng realized he could buy cheaper, identical textbooks in Thailand and resell them for a profit in the U.S. John Wiley & Sons, the publisher of some of these textbooks, sued him for copyright infringement. ...more

Supreme Court Decides Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-375, holding that, in assessing whether a prevailing party in copyright litigation should recover its attorneys’ fees, the...more

Comic-Con, Costumes, and Copyright Concerns

Get ready, nerds! This summer’s Comic-Con season is almost upon us and your costume is not going to make itself. But before you squeeze into your tights and cape, do you need to worry about copyright infringement? This blog...more

Death Knell for Knockoffs and Counterfeits?

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Define the Test for Copyrightability of Designs on Useful Articles - The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the question that, as one Appellate Court characterized, has had the...more

Protecting Fashion through Copyrights: The Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Cheer Uniform Designs Are Protectable

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will address the issue whether apparel can be protected by copyright law—a question described by the petitioners in the case as “the single most vexing, unresolved question...more

Fair Use Copyright Ruling Stands For Google Books

Last month, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., the long-running copyright case involving Google’s Google Books project. The high court’s refusal to hear the case leaves in place the Second...more

Give me an S-C-O-T-U-S! Supreme Court To Decide Apparel Copyright Case

Straight off the heels of a 2-1 Sixth Circuit decision protecting copyright in design elements of cheerleading uniforms, the U.S. Supreme Court today decided to consider the issue of when a useful article is protectable under...more

Can Science be Copyrighted? You Might be Surprised…

Biotechnology. For many, the mere mention of the word stirs up a thought of people in white lab coats working in underground bunkers trying to create superhuman mutant weapons, with beakers of green goo bubbling in the...more

The Batmobile Battle: Ninth Circuit’s Three-Part Test Creates New Landscape for Infringement as Supreme Court Denies Cert

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari over a Ninth Circuit decision (Towle v. D.C. Comics)1 upholding a district court’s findings that Batman’s vehicle, the “Batmobile,” is itself a character subject to...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

2016: Developments in Intellectual Property Law You Should Know About

This year the IP world will be brimming with changes, the largest of which will take place in the European Union. Sweeping reforms in EU trademark law will be implemented in March as well as the likelihood of the Unitary...more

The Supreme Court's take on Kirtsaeng II will impact attorneys' fees decisions in copyright matters

The landmark copyright case Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons is back before the US Supreme Court, this time on the issue of the appropriate standard for determining whether to award attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party....more

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