The Copyright Act

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Intellectual Property Bulletin - Summer 2016

Supreme Court Expands Discretion to Award Enhanced Damages for Patent Infringement and Eliminates the Federal Circuit’s ‘Seagate Test’ - In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court...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

DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”

Greenberg Glusker music law partner William I. Hochberg was quoted in an August 4, 2016, Daily Journal article, “DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”...more

The Supreme Court Clarifies Standard For Attorney Fee Awards In Copyright Cases

Copyright infringement litigation has been on the rise in recent years, particularly in the Central District of California, with the apparel industry feeling the brunt of this uptick. In a typical case, a plaintiff alleges...more

Alert: Copyright Office Letter Raises New Questions About FCC Set-Top Box Proceeding

A recent letter by the US Copyright Office has raised questions about the FCC's proposal to adopt new rules intended to open up the market for cable television set-top boxes and what actions the FCC ultimately will take. The...more

Second Circuit Revives Copyright Claims Against Sony and Ghostface Killah

In Urbont v. Sony Music Entertainment Inc., 15-1778, the Second Circuit recently revived claims against Sony and Ghostface Killah, holding that although third parties may raise a work for hire defense, here there were factual...more

A House of Cards: How Much Copyright Protection Remains for Architectural Works

Although copyright protection in the United States was extended to architectural works in 1990, this protection has become increasingly narrow. A recently issued Eleventh Circuit opinion, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Inc. v. Jewel...more

Burning Man Bus Not a Protected Work of Visual Art Under VARA

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of a Nevada district court when it determined that the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) of the US Copyright Act did not apply to a used school bus that had...more

Kirtsaeng II: Fees in Copyright Cases Depend on Reasonableness of Litigation Position

Under 17 USC § 505, a “court may . . . award a reasonable attorney’s fee to the prevailing party.” However, when deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act’s fee-shifting provision, 17 USC § 505, the...more

European Court of Justice Strengthens Rights of Authors, Performers and Phonogram Producers

A new judgement issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) requires a business offering television or radio programs in its facilities to pay license fees to national collecting societies if the programming...more

Supreme Court to Clarify Test for Copyright Protection of Useful Articles

On May 2, 2016, the Supreme Court granted certiorari from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to resolve a multi-circuit split over “the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is...more

TV Broadcasters Filing Royalty Claims Will Need to Hustle

TV broadcasters know that every July 31st, they need to file with the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to claim a share of the royalty fund for out-of-market carriage of their programming by cable and satellite TV systems. The...more

What You Need to Know About U.S. Law: You Really Need to Register Your Copyrights

As explained by the United States Supreme Court in Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, registering a copyright is an essential element of a cause of action for copyright infringement. Lesser appellate and trial courts have...more

Supreme Court 2015-2016 Intellectual Property Case Review

At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2015 term came to a close. The Court issued written decisions in three intellectual property cases during that term, the same number of cases as during the previous term,...more

Brumley Heirs Win Fight over Rights to Old Gospel Song *WEB ONLY**

Addressing the termination right given to authors and their heirs under the Copyright Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that four siblings could use their right to terminate the transfer their...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - USCA, Eleventh Circuit, June 29, 2016

In most recent decision over The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings, Eleventh Circuit asks Florida Supreme Court to determine whether state law recognizes common law copyright in sound recordings and, if so, whether that...more

Second Circuit In Vimeo Narrows The Red Flag Knowledge and Willful Blindness Exceptions To DMCA Safe Harbors

The Second Circuit recently decided Capitol Records, LLC, et al. v. Vimeo, LLC (2d Cir. June 16, 2016) (“Vimeo”), a landmark decision concerning the interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the...more

Advertising Law - July 2016

Ad Company's Geotargeting Locates a $1M Penalty - InMobi, a Singapore-based mobile advertising company, will pay almost $1 million in civil penalties and implement a comprehensive privacy program to settle charges that...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...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

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

Software Vendors: Do Your Employees Own Your Software?

When an employee claims to own his employer’s software, the analysis will turn to whether that employee was an “author” for the purposes of the Copyright Act, and what the employee “contributed” to the software. This, in...more

Statutory Damages for Infringement of your Copyrights and Trademarks

Statutory damages for copyright and trademark infringement are damages provided for under federal law, which is an advantage to the claimant because other types of damages (lost profits, compensatory damages) can be difficult...more

Busy Supreme Court Docket In Intellectual Property Highlighted By Cases On Enhanced Damages, Attorney's Fees, Claim Construction...

In June 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics (14-1513), in which it addressed the Federal Circuit's test for determining whether enhanced damages should be awarded for...more

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