Software Copyright

News & Analysis as of

Ownership of Copyright in Software

Can an employee claim to own the employer’s software? An “author” of a work is the first owner of copyright. To determine ownership, it’s necessary to determine which contributions will be considered “authorship” for...more

Piracy Pays (The IP Owner) – Judge Whyte Grants Motion for Default Judgment After Awarding Sanctions in Unauthorized Software...

Order Granting Motion for Default Judgment, Adobe Systems Inc. v. Software Tech, et al., Case No. 5:14-cv-02140-RMW (Judge Ronald M. Whyte) - Everyone in the software field (and probably every computer user) is familiar...more

German Case Fails to Address Key Issue Regarding Software ‘Copyleft’

Caution remains the watchword for incorporation of “copyleft” software into proprietary software projects, as a German court has declined to provide insight into the reach of the influential free software license, the General...more

Social Links: Facebook’s anti-ad-blocking software; LinkedIn’s “scraper” lawsuit; FTC’s upcoming crackdown on social influencers

Facebook introduced technology that disables ad blockers used by people who visit the platform via desktop computers, but Adblock Plus has already foiled the platform’s efforts, at least for now....more

U.S. Trade Representative Issues 2016 Special 301 Report

On April 27th, Ambassador Michael B.G. Froman, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), issued the 2016 Special 301 Report. According to the USTR website, "[i]ntellectual property is a critical source of economic growth and...more

The Internet of Things: Evaluating the Interplay of Interoperability, Industry Standards, and Related IP Licensing Approaches...

We recently published a client alert on January 26, 2016 that addressed some of the more significant Internet of Things (“IoT”) -specific standards and initiatives and emphasized the importance of interoperability as central...more

[Webinar] Keeping What is Yours Yours: Best Practices for Software Companies to Protect Their “Secret Sauce” - Feb. 9th, 1:00pm,...

In today’s fast paced, if not neck-breaking, speed at which advancements in software development and platforms occur, one issue facing software companies is how to keep their competitors from obtaining the "secret sauce." ...more

DMCA Loosening the Reins for Education

You may know the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) from the widely deployed DMCA take-down notices that copyright owners use to remove putatively infringing content from the Internet. Enacted in 1998, the DMCA is...more

2015 DMCA Exemptions In Detail: When Is It OK to Technologically Circumvent Copyright Protections?

On October 28, 2015, the LOC reported a new set of regulations regarding exemptions to the DMCA provision that prohibits circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. Here's a summary of...more

Major Verdict Shows the Power of Per Se Theories

How much is a per se theory under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 worth? According to a recent verdict in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, it’s worth 52.7 million dollars (plus, no doubt, a big...more

Bad Day for California as TTA Sales Tax Exemption for Software Is Broadly Reaffirmed by Appellate Court – Will Taxpayer Refund...

In a significant rebuff of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), the California Second District Court of Appeal held that a manufacturer’s sale of software on tangible media was exempt from sales tax under the...more

Common IP pitfalls every business can avoid

As a business owner or manager, you have probably experienced or at least heard about costly and disruptive intellectual property infringement lawsuits. You may also be very concerned about protecting your company’s customer...more

Do You Know Your IP Rights In Your Imagery and Other Data Products?

Two recent court cases highlight the need for businesses to carefully consider the intellectual property rights associated with building data products and services. This issue is of growing importance as companies...more

Virtual Currencies - Mining the Possibilities

There are two distinct narratives surrounding virtual currencies. One picks up on countercultural elements – an extreme free market environment beloved by anarchists and criminals. The other describes a technology as...more

Ninth Circuit Requires Fair Use Evaluation Before Issuing DMCA Take-Down Notices

In a highly anticipated opinion in the so-called "Dancing Babies" case, the Ninth Circuit clarified this week the steps under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") that copyright holders must take before issuing a...more

3D Printing: Potential Pitfalls For Retailers

3D printing, a seemingly futuristic method of manufacturing objects, is steadily moving into the mainstream as three dimensional printers have relocated from labs to the shelves of retail stores. 3D printing, or additive...more

Rejection of Oracle's claims for copyright infringement against one of its users and condemnation of the practice of aggressive...

Dealing with a matter involving the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Oracle E-Business Suite, the Paris First Instance Court took the opportunity to clarify the differences between copyright infringement and contractual...more

Recent Developments on Copyright Preemption of Trade Secret Claims in the Fifth Circuit

For the latest on the copyright preemption doctrine (codified at 17 U.S.C. § 301(a)) look no further than the Fifth Circuit, which, together with its district courts, issued a string of recent decisions regarding the...more

Writ of Certiorari Denied in Oracle v. Google: Software Declaring Code, Including Structure, Sequence, and Organization Remains...

On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Google, Inc.’s petition for writ of certiorari, leaving intact the Federal Circuit’s holding that Oracle’s Java API software, and particularly the API declaring source code, is...more

Texas Federal Court: Copyright Law Doesn’t Preempt Trade Secrets Claim Where “Extra” Elements Exist

We’ve blogged on trade secret preemption before, but we’ve usually focused on trade secrets claims preempting other types of claims, and not the other way around. But, as the cowboy in the cult-classic film The Big...more

How to Keep What is Yours: Practical Considerations for Healthcare IT Protection

One of the worst kept secrets is the experienced and expected growth in healthcare IT. In 2013, over $650 million was invested into healthcare IT companies, and the trend is continuing to grow. Combined with the fact that...more

Ultramercial v. WildTangent -- Petition for Writ of Certiorari

The Ultramercial story is not over. In the latest step of a controversial case involving 35 U.S.C. § 101 that has been ongoing since 2009, patentee Ultramercial has petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. The...more

MBHB Snippets: Review of Developments in Intellectual Property Law: Spring 2015 - Vol. 13, Issue 2

In This Issue: - After B&B Hardware, What is the Full Scope of Estoppel Arising From a PTAB Decision in District Court Litigation? - When You Don’t Know What You Know: The Role of Unappreciated Inherency in the...more

News Flash – Oracle v. Google Copyright Case

In its brief filed on May 26, 2015, the US Solicitor General (SG) advised the US Supreme Court to not hear Google’s appeal of a decision, from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, holding that copyright protection...more

Software Copyrights in an Evolving Digital World

In This Presentation: - Software Copyright & Interoperability - Program Language and Function Calls - An Example API in Java - Oracles’ Pattern of APIs - Google’s Copying - Questions? ..Copyright Issues -...more

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