Posts Tagged: "Copyright Litigation"

Costco Prevails in First Sale Case Thanks to Copyright Misuse

On November 9, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, per Senior Judge Terry J. Hatter, Jr., granted Costco a summary judgment victory due to the fact that Omega engaged in copyright misuse. Yes, the plot thickened. The district court originally granted summary judgment to Costco on the basis of the first sale doctrine, which was overturned by the Ninth Circuit and then affirmed by the Supreme Court in the tie decision, or non-decision of December 2010. That meant that the case would proceed because the first sale doctrine summary judgment victory was erased. But not so fast! Judge Hatter had other ideas!

U.S. News Ranks Top Patent, Copryight & Trademark Law Firms

Of course, these lists never give any love to the small or mid-size firms that provide high quality legal work at a reasonable cost to clients. But that is only one of the things that will raise some eyebrows. U.S. News included Howrey LLP in the top tier for intellectual property litigation and the firm dissolved on March 15, 2011, hardly 10 weeks into 2011. So how exactly does that qualify Howrey, a firm that no longer exists, for top tier ranking? That alone will cause some to scratch their heads and wonder exactly what U.S. New was thinking.

Copyright Registration – File Early and Often

As a general rule, a copyright lasts for the life of the creator PLUS another 70 years. So your grandchildren and great-grandchildren can benefit from your creation well after you have left this earth. For the price the rights you obtain with a federal registration are a true bargain! File early and often my friends! You can never have too many copyrights, and invariably if you pick and choose when to file you will wish you had applied for a copyright sooner once someone is infringing. By then it will be too late for statutory damages and attorneys fees, which is unfortunate. The early bird gets the worm, and those quick to file a copyright application reap the most rewards.

Google Legal Team is Top Legal Department for 2011

I don’t doubt that the Google Legal Team is an excellent department, and undoubtedly praiseworthy. It is also correct to say that they are dealing on nearly a daily basis with cutting edge issues that relate to the use of intellectual property in a still young medium — the Internet. It is also true to observe that they have had to deal with antitrust matters, patent litigations, copyright and trademark matters, not to mention the undoubtedly countless private matters that we haven’t yet learned about and many we won’t ever learn about. Nevertheless, I wonder whether there is a premature victory lap or recognition that is just slightly ahead of accomplishment. Certainly if Google scores a final victory in the Rosetta Stone appeal on trademarks (more below) and can resurrect the book settlement (more below) that would go a long way to justifying this award, I just wonder whether it might be a year ahead of schedule and a bit akin to President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize after only a few months in Office.

Intellectual Property Insurance: What Attorneys Need to Know

Many clients are unaware that the commercial general liability insurance (CGL) policy they hold is not fully protecting their most valuable assets, the ability to sell their products. And, most IP attorneys do not know that IP insurance is available to help fund their client’s IP litigation risks. If a client’s IP becomes involved in litigation, specialized IP Insurance products will help ensure that there are funds available to pay the associated legal expenses. Without specific IP Insurance in place, the client may be left with a less desirable way of protecting their IP assets.

Copyright Trolls: The Meaner Stepsister of Patent Trolls

Copyright trolls are a relatively new beast, and it’s hard to nail down a definition, so I’m just going to fall back on the immortal words of Justice Stewart’s famed copout “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it . . .” Boy, you said it, Justice Stewart. Of course, he was talking about obscenity and I’m talking about troglodytes. But to me, copyright trolls are like patent trolls. They have very little or no interest in the progress of the arts and brandish their copyright like a sword. They threaten to sue anyone and everyone who even looks at their copyrighted material without permission.

Oracle Awarded $1.3 Billion for SAP Copyright Infringement

Earlier today, at 2:32 pm Pacific Time, a jury in the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of California handed down the largest copyright damages verdict in United States history, ordering SAP AG to pay Oracle USA, Inc. the sum of $1.3 billion. After polling, the jury was excused at 2:33 pm and the Court adjourned at 2:35 pm, but this case is certainly long from over. There will likely be innumerable post trial motions and the inevitable bluster about an appeal, which is all but guaranteed. But for today, renowned trial attorney David Bois and his capable team can savor an enormous victory in this monumental case.

Who Owns Software Copyrights?

Companies enter into software development deals with independent contractors without adequately addressing copyright ownership. Many times, it is assumed by the programmer that the copyright, including the right to modify and prepare derivative works, remains with her or him. From the company side it is generally assumed that when someone is paid to create copyrighted material that flows from the original creation those copyrights will be owned by the commissioning party. Neither assumption is true, which means that when a dispute arises, litigation ensues and unnecessary expenses mount. Names Top 10 IP Litigation Wins of 2009

The victories selected represent a diverse array of wins, which a press release announcing the Top 10 list says is due to “the differing objectives of IP litigation today.” These victories range from multimillion-dollar jury verdicts, including the biggest patent award ever, which was won by Johnson & Johnson’s Centocor Ortho Biotech unit against Abbott Laboratories, to the i4i injunction win blocking the distribution of Microsoft Word editions having a popular XML feature.

Obama, Reagan and Tea Party Copyright Infringement

Yesterday as I was watching news coverage of the thousands of tea parties that occurred all across America one particular sign caught my attention.  It was a poster of Ronald Reagan in a style reminiscent of the now famous Barack Obama poster created by Shepard Fairey.  You may recall that Fairey created a popular print made famous through the 2008…

Obama Artist Sues AP Over Copyright Fair Use

In a strange twist, Shepard Fairey, the artist of the popular print made famous through the 2008 Presidential Campaign, has sued the Associated Press in federal District Court in Manhattan seeking an order from the court that his use of the underlying photograph owned by the Associated Press is a fair use.  Mr. Fairey’s lawyer, Anthony T. Falzone, the executive…

AP Goes After Obama Artist for Copyright Violation

A Los-Angeles based street artist named  Shepard Fairey created what many would say was one of the most enduring images of the 2008 Presidential Campaign, a poster of Barack Obama with a stern and confident look gazing slightly upward and to his left.  The trouble with this poster is that is is based on a copyrighted photo taken by the Associated…

RIAA Challenges Copyright Hearing Broadcast

While it seems on one hand that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is standing down its enforcement efforts, there are several reasons to wonder whether this is really the plan or if there is more under-handed and insidious behavior yet to come. As was discussed on Monday, an RIAA favorite attorney will become the Deputy Attorney Generalof the…

The RIAA Ends Music Download War

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) fired MediaSentry, the Recording company it used to help it gather evidence for mass lawsuits it filed against people it claimed were illegally uploading copyrighted music. It would seem that the RIAA is finally coming to its senses and realizing that the way forward is not…

NY Times Faces Frivolous Copyright Lawsuit

On Monday, December 22, 2008, Gatehouse Media, Inc. filed what can only be charaterized as a ridiculous and frivolous lawsuit against the New York Times alleging copyright infringement by the New York Times because one of the papers owned by the Time, namely the Boston Globe, was linking to original articles owned by Gatehouse Media.  The complaint filed by Gatehousealleges that the Boston Globe is…