Fair Use

News & Analysis as of

Losing Control of V

A common client question is: “Can I ‘get in trouble’ for copying a picture, drawing, or cartoon and pasting it into my report, PowerPoint, etc.?” Before you can answer, they try to answer their own question, adding “Everyone...more

Tiffany Prevails!

The title is not a reference to a win by me, but rather my namesake Tiffany and Company’s big win in the Southern District of New York....more

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 11

The Katten Kattwalk discusses legal issues in the fashion industry affecting the trademarks, patents and copyrights associated with companies, brands and products. Please see full Newsletter below for more...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

10 Copyright Cases Every Fan Fiction Writer Should Know About

If you are a Star Trek fan, the name Axanar has almost certainly crossed your lips or your computer screen recently. Axanar is a film (well, at least a very good trailer aspiring to be a film) set in the Star Trek universe,...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

Copyright At The Museum: Musings In Anticipation Of The IPO Dinner At The MOMA

As a fan of modern art, I am looking forward to the dinner reception at next week’s Annual Meeting of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), which will be held at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. As a member of...more

Legal Concerns for Social Media Influencers: Intellectual Property

Social media “influencers” – individuals who are powerful, popular and relevant enough to influence others within their online social sphere – generate ad dollars, product endorsement opportunities and other revenue streams...more


It’s Olympics time! And while most of the news has been about Zika and the conditions on the ground in Rio, brand owners know this as a time when the U.S. Olympic Committee is on the warpath sending notices and cease and...more

Dancing Baby May Be Headed To Supreme Court

On August 12, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of its client, Stephanie Lenz, to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126...more

Gossip Cop Gets Cuffed For Copyright Infringement

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently found that Gossip Cop, a website that rates celebrity gossip on a scale of “real” to “rumor,” infringed the copyrights in three photographs of famous...more

Dancing Baby Waltzes Up to The Biggest Dance Floor in the Land

It’s not every day that SCOTUS is asked to review a case involving a video of a dancing baby. But that’s what happened late last week when the lawyers for Stephanie Lenz asked the Court to review the 9th Circuit’s decision...more

“Gossip Cop” Held To Willfully Infringe Copyrighted Photos

In BWP Media USA v. Gossip Cop Media, a case sure to bring cheer to paparazzi and tabloid publishers everywhere, a judge in the Southern District of New York has found after a bench trial that a gossip website willfully...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2016

Supreme Court: Status Quo in Cuozzo - Why it matters: On June 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, where it rejected challenges to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes...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

Certification Mark May Be Infringed Despite Nominative Fair Use, Lack of Source Confusion

Addressing the use of a certification mark in connection with information systems training, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and remanded a district court grant of summary judgment for the defendants on...more

Another Win for “Fair Use” as Jury Finds in Favor of Google in Infringement Suit

This week the final judgment was entered by United States District Court Judge William Alsup in favor of Google following a jury trial in its long running legal battle with Oracle over Google’s use of bits of the JAVA...more

Eight is Not Enough: Second Circuit Adopts Eleven Factor Nominative Fair Use Test in Certification Mark Case

International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (known as ISC2) is a non-profit organization that owns a registered certification mark for the term CISSP® (meaning “Certified Information Systems...more

Nominative Fair Use of a Trademark: The Second Circuit Weighs In

If a defendant in a trademark case uses the plaintiff’s trademark, not to identify the defendant’s own products, but rather to refer accurately to the plaintiff’s products, is that trademark infringement? Called “nominative...more

Google’s Fair Use Defense Thwarts Oracle’s Attempt to Recover $9 Billion in Copyright Case

In a high-profile case, a jury recently found that Google’s use of portions of Oracle’s Java software code was allowable under the fair use doctrine and thus did not constitute copyright infringement. Oracle sought as much...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Sibling Rivalry, Grilled Meat and Attorneys' Fees

Copyright Opinions - Sixth Circuit Upholds Siblings' Termination of Brother's Copyright Assignment: Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-5429 (6th Cir. May 16, 2016) - Sutton, J. In a declaratory...more

Jury Determines Google protected by “Fair Use” against liability for its unauthorized use of Java APIs

In a stunning decision on May 26, 2016, a jury found that although Google was found guilty of copyright infringement, it would not be subject to billions of dollars in damages because the “Fair Use” Doctrine, as codified at...more

Nominative Fair Use: The Second Circuit Joins Neither The Third Nor Ninth Circuits In Its Approach

In an important decision delineating the boundaries of fair use of another person’s trademark, the Second Circuit announced a standard by which nominative fair use of a trademark will be evaluated in that Circuit in...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

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