Software Copyright

News & Analysis as of

Copyright Date Alone Does Not Prove Public Accessibility of Software User Guide

Addressing the standard for establishing whether a prior art reference qualifies as a “printed publication,” the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied institution of inter partes review (IPR), finding that the...more

Nintendo Awarded $12.7 Million for Circumvention of Technological Protection Measures in Precedent-Setting Case

In a precedent-setting decision issued yesterday, Nintendo of America Inc v King et al, 2017 FC 246, the Federal Court awarded $12,760,000 in damages for circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs) and copyright...more

Unauthorized Downloading and Copyright Infringement

Liability for copyright infringement can result when one downloads protected software without the copyright owner’s authorization. The Ninth Circuit was recently tasked with exploring the scope and reach of copyright...more

“It’s In The Game” – Proof Issues In Software Copyright Infringement Cases

A recent Ninth Circuit decision in Antonick v. Electronic Arts, Inc. (filed Nov. 22, 2016), shows some of the proof issues that a plaintiff may encounter in prosecuting claims for copyright infringement in connection with...more

Federal Copyright Law Does Not Preempt Trade Secret Claim

Addressing issues of preemption, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that federal copyright law did not preempt the plaintiff’s trade secret claim because trade secret claims...more

Copyright: Europe Explores Its Boundaries - CJEU Draws the Line with the Resale of Back-Up Copies of Computer Programs

Europe’s highest court has ruled that software owners have potentially greater rights to prevent the resale of back-up copies of their works than may exist in relation to the original licensed programs. The Court of...more

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

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