This week on The Briefing by the IP Law Blog, Scott Hervey and Josh Escovedo discuss the copyright lawsuit over a Black Mirror episode starring Miley Cyrus, the plot of which filmmaker Geoffrey Blair Hajim said was lifted from his film “Strange Frame: Love and Sax.”

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An inter partes review (IPR) is a procedure to challenge a patent in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The IPR procedure was established by the American Invents Act, and was intended to be an improvement on the existing inter partes reexamination procedure. An IPR is brought before the PTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which handles the proceeding and decides the outcome.

Any person can file a petition requesting an IPR of an issued patent. The petition must show that at least one claim of the patent is unpatentable on the grounds of anticipation (35 U.S.C. §102) or obviousness (35 U.S.C. §103). The petitioner must prove unpatentability by a preponderance of the evidence. The PTO decides whether to grant the petition.
Continue Reading PTAB May Decide Patentability Under Section 101 in Inter Partes Reviews

The motion picture Wolf of Wall Street was based on a book of the same title written by Jordan Belmont.  In the book, Andrew Greene, who was director, general counsel, and head of the corporate finance department at Stratton Oakmont between 1993 and 1996, was discussed extensively.  In the book, Greene is referred to by his nickname “Wigwam” (a reference to his toupee) and described as engaging in criminal conduct.  In the motion picture, Wolf of Wall Street a minor character named Nicky Koskoff, who wears a toupee and went by the nickname “Rugrat” is depicted as engaging in unsavory and illegal behavior.  This includes engaging in adulterous/sexual acts at work and participating in criminal money laundering schemes orchestrated by one of the founders of Stratton Oakmont, Jordan Belmont (played by Leonardo DiCaprio).  Greene sued Paramount Pictures and the film’s producers on the grounds that the Koskoff character presented a defaming portrayal of himself.
Continue Reading The “Wolf of Wall Street” Defamation Suit – The Risk of an “Inspired By” Character in Movies and TV

Virginia Vallejo, a well known Colombian journalist and media personality, authored the memoir “Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar”.  The book is a factual account of her romantic relationship with Pablo Escobar and a chronicle of the rise of the Colombian drug cartel.

Vallejo claimed that certain scenes in the television series Narcos infringed the copyright in her book, and she sued Narcos Productions, the producer of the series, Gaumont Television, the series’ distributor, and Netflix, the U.S. broadcaster.  Specifically, Vallejo claimed that certain scenes in the series were copied from various chapters in her book, including one that describes a sexual encounter between Vallejo and Escobar involving a handgun, and
Continue Reading Order in Netflix Lawsuit is a Reminder of the Bounds of Copyright Protection