The IP Law Blog Focusing on legal trends in data security, cloud computing, data privacy, and anything E

Tag Archives: copyright

Googling Google

Posted in Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law, Trademark Law, Web/Tech

“I googled it …” has become ubiquitous in every day conversation. Many of us refer to “googling” as the act of searching the internet regardless of whether we use the Google search engine to do so.  But has our everyday use of the verb “googling” rendered the Google trademark unprotectable?  “Nope,” said the Ninth Circuit… Continue Reading

The Fabric of Copyright Infringement: Obtaining Summary Judgment on Copying Element

Posted in Copyright Law

Generally, the issue of copyright infringement presents issues of fact to be decided by a jury.  However, when evidence that a design is so “substantially similar” to a copyrighted design, the trial court can find infringement as a matter of law and grant summary judgment to the copyright owner.  The Ninth Circuit recently approved of… Continue Reading

Phasers Set to Stun – Star Trek and Fan Film Producers Trade Copyright Shots

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

Fan films and fan fiction ordinarily don’t end up being the subject of a federal court lawsuit.  Most fan fiction are creative expressions reflecting adoration of a series, film or character and the majority of copyright owners take a permissive view of fan fiction.  However, Paramount Pictures, the owner of the Star Trek franchise, which… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rejects Current Status of Music Sampling Copyright Infringement And Sets Circuit Split For The Supreme Court

Posted in Copyright Law

On June 2, 2016 the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in a music sampling Copyright infringement case that sets up a split between the Ninth Circuit and the Sixth Circuit which will likely send the issue to the Supreme Court.   At issue in the Ninth Circuit case was a claim of infringement based on Madonna’s… Continue Reading

Tattoo Infringement Case Against NBA 2K Game Publisher Shows Misunderstanding of Applicability of Statutory Damages

Posted in Copyright Law

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 NBA royalty, including LeBron James.  Solid Oak filed a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive Software, the game publisher behind the popular “NBA 2K”… Continue Reading

Copyright Infringement and the First Sale Defense

Posted in Copyright Law

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in the case of Dolby Systems, Inc. v. Christenson, focuses primarily on the issue of which party bears the initial burden of proof with regard to a “first sale” defense in a copyright infringement action. As the reader will see, however, this case really provides a cautionary tale as to… Continue Reading

When Copying is Not Copyright Infringement

Posted in Copyright Law

A longstanding battle between Google and the authors of published books has been resolved (at least for now) in favor of Google. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has held that Google’s use of copyrighted books in its Library Project and Google Books website, without the permission of the authors, is fair use and therefore… Continue Reading

Why Business Methods Are Difficult to Patent

Posted in Patent Law

Although the general rule (based on 35 USC section 101) is that anything made by humans is patentable, there are exceptions. Laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable. Inventions that fall in these categories are “patent-ineligible,” that is, directed to subject matter that is not eligible to be patented. After the… Continue Reading

Yoga and the Copyright Idea/Expression Dichotomy

Posted in Copyright Law

Over the last half century there has been an explosion in the popularity of yoga in the United States, much of it attributable to Bikram Choudhury, the self-proclaimed “Yogi to the Stars.” In 1979, he published a book titled Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class, which centered on a sequence of 26 yoga poses and two breathing… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Copyright Holder’s Responsibility When Sending A Takedown Notice Under The DMCA

Posted in Copyright Law

In July, this author wrote about Lenz v. Universal which, at the time, was pending before the 9th Circuit.  On September 14, 2015 the 9th Circuit came down with a ruling which answered whether a copyright owner must consider fair use before proceeding with a takedown notice under the DMCA, and, if so, what are… Continue Reading

A Chicken Sandwich is Not Copyrightable – Really?

Posted in Copyright Law

As reported in Law 360 and other outlets, the First Circuit has ruled that a chicken sandwich, no matter how amazingly delicious it may be, cannot be copyrighted. A Puerto Rican epicure named Norberto Lorenzana argued that he created the “Pechu Sandwich” which is “a fried chicken breast patty, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, and garlic… Continue Reading

Will Lenz v. Universal Make Online Copyright Enforcement More Challenging for Copyright Owners

Posted in Copyright Law

Pending before the 9th Circuit is a case which may change the landscape for online copyright protection. The case, Lenz v. Universal, may make it more difficult for copyright owners to protect against infringement in today’s environment of hyper infringement. Defenders of Lenz argue that this case represents the quest for a legitimate balance between… Continue Reading

“Desert Warrior” Vanquished: Google Defeats Cindy Lee Garcia’s Copyright Claims

Posted in Copyright Law

Cindy Lee Garcia thought she was playing a bit part in “Desert Warrior,” an adventure film being made by an amateur film maker. The film was never completed. Instead, Ms. Garcia’s performance was re-purposed, and her physical on screen appearance was used in a film titled “Innocence of Muslims,” with her voice redubbed, changing her… Continue Reading

Brewing Up Some IP

Posted in Copyright Law, Patent Law, Trademark Law

With so many new microbreweries popping up in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and the Greater San Diego area, I felt compelled to write the present piece for the benefit of the aspiring, as well as the established, microbrew entrepreneur. These individuals undoubtedly pour (excuse the pun) their hearts, souls, and hard-earned money into the development… Continue Reading

Copyright Preemption and Its Interplay with Trade Secret Misappropriation

Posted in Copyright Law, Trade Secrets

By: James Kachmar A recent decision in the case Jobscience, Inc. v. CVPartners, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2014) shows the interplay between the various theories of intellectual property claims. There, the plaintiff asserted claims for both copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation arising out of the alleged theft of its software code. The court… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: Watch Out for Statute of Limitations for Copyright Infringement

Posted in Copyright Law

 By: Audrey A. Millemann              In Seven Arts Filmed Entertainment, Ltd. v. Content Media Corp. PLC, 2013 US App. LEXIS 22517 (9th Cir., November 6, 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided an issue of first impression in this circuit: whether a claim of copyright infringement based on disputed ownership would be time-barred… Continue Reading

Copyrighter in the Rye – J.D. Salinger Stops Publication of Alleged Sequel To Famous Work

Posted in Copyright Law

by Zachary J. Wadlé J.D. Salinger, author of the seminal teen angst novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” recently filed a lawsuit in United States District Court in Manhattan for copyright infringement against the author of a purported “sequel” to Salinger’s classic work entitled “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye.” Salinger’s lawsuit sought a permanent… Continue Reading

Does an Anti-Plagiarism Service Violate Students’ Copyrights?

Posted in Copyright Law

by Jeff Pietsch In April 2009, the Fourth Circuit upheld a summary judgment granted in favor of an online technology system designed to prevent plagiarism in a copyright infringement action. (A.V. v. iParadigms, L.L.C., (4th Cir. Apr. 16, 2009)). The plaintiffs, four high school students who were required to use the system by their schools, sued iParadigms’… Continue Reading