Search Results for: Copyright


27

Apr 2020

Allen v. Cooper – The Supreme Court Blesses Copyright Infringement by States

By Louis K. Bonham 繁體中文 In a near unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held in Allen v. Cooper that the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 (the “CRCA”) – which abrogated state immunity for acts of copyright infringement – was unconstitutional under the Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution.  As a result, individual states and state agencies (such as state universities) are free to…

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03

Jan 2020

Are State Legal Texts with Annotations Copyrightable? The U.S. Supreme Court to Decide in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org

By Califf Cooper 繁體中文 The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments to decide whether Georgia’s annotated version of the Georgia legal code is protected by copyright.  The case stems from Public.Resource.Org publishing the full annotated version of the code online and Georgia’s subsequent case for copyright infringement. The State of Georgia contracted with LexisNexis to produce and publish the annotated version of the state’s legal…

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10

Dec 2019

With Billions of Dollars On the Line, The Supreme Court Will Weigh in On Oracle v. Google Copyright Java Case

By Califf Cooper 繁體中文 The Supreme Court recently granted a writ of certiorari to rule on the nearly decade long fight between Google and Oracle regarding the copyright infringement lawsuit centered on Google’s Android operating system being built on stolen code from the Java software platform.  Google calls the case, “the copyright case of the decade.”  The dispute revolves around Google’s verbatim copying of 11,500…

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01

Jul 2019

Copyright before Contract: The Role of Copyright Preemption in Software Licensing

By James Carlson 繁體中文 In Universal Instruments Corp. v. Micro Systems Engineering, Inc., No. 17-2748 (2d Cir. May 8, 2019), an opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit illustrates the fine line where contract terms may conflict with the U.S. Copyright Act.  Unlike with patents and trademarks, the Copyright Act provides an explicit preemption clause governing when a legal claim under…

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02

Apr 2019

Over an Apple Barrel: Copyright Lawsuits Must Satisfy Registration Approach

By James Carlson In Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, No. 17-571 (2019) (hereinafter “Fourth Estate decision”), the Supreme Court of the United States ended a split between the regional circuits over whether a copyright holder must first obtain a copyright registration from the United States Copyright Office (hereinafter “Copyright Office”), or if the act of filing an application for copyright registration was…

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05

Mar 2019

Supreme Court Requires Actual Copyright Registration To Sue

By Louis Bonham Resolving a circuit split, the Supreme Court on March 4, 2019, unanimously held that the Copyright Office must have issued a registration on a work for the copyright owner to sue for its infringement. The question before the Court in Fourth Estate Public Benefits Corp. v. Wall Street.com was whether a copyright owner may file suit as long as it has submitted…

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30

Nov 2018

Osha Liang Obtains $28.8 Million Architectural Copyright Judgment

By Califf Cooper Osha Liang and co-counsel Pat Zummo, acting on behalf of client Preston Wood & Associates, won a judgment of nearly $29 million against Houston real estate promoter Urban Living for copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  Federal District Judge David Hittner presided over the trial in August 2018 and entered judgment against Urban Living and architect Steven Cameron…

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01

Oct 2018

The Music Modernization Act: A Copyright Update for a Digital Age

By: Louis Bonham and James Carlson The United States Congress has passed the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act of 2018 (“MMA”), which now heads to President Trump for his signature.  The U.S. Senate renamed the bill in honor of retiring Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, the bill’s sponsor and also a fellow songwriter. The bill includes a previous version of the MMA passed by the U.S….

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01

Oct 2018

A Trademark within a Copyright: 9th Circuit Clarifies Trademark Rights in Expressive Works

By: John Montgomery and James Carlson Courts typically use a test set forth in Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994 (2d Cir. 1989) (“Rogers”), to determine whether artistic expression under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution overrides application of traditional trademark rights. If use of the trademark in the work does not add expressive value to the work that is protectable by the First amendment,…

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31

Mar 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Copyright Protection is Available for Designs Applied to Cheerleader Uniforms

By: John Montgomery On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6 to 2 decision that surface decorations incorporated into cheerleader uniforms could be protected by copyright.* The opinion of the Court provides a two-part test for determining whether protectable design features are separable from a useful article to which they are applied, so that they are protectable under the Copyright Act, §101. …

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08

Feb 2017

US Supreme Court Urged to Close “Pirates’ Bay” of Architectural Copyright Infringement

By: Louis K. Bonham An assortment of industry groups, building design firms, and a major regional home builder jointly urged the Supreme Court to resolve a split among the Courts of Appeals regarding architectural copyrights. In an amici curia (“friends of the court”) filing, the American Institute of Building Design, the Texas Institute of Building Design, design firms Design Basics LLC and Frank Betz Associates,…

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29

Nov 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Considers Copyright Protection for Designs Applied to Cheerleader Uniforms

By: John Montgomery Are Copyrights for Designs Applied to Cheerleader Uniforms Enforceable? Will the Fashion Industry Obtain Copyright Tools Effective to “Kill” the Knockoff Apparel Industry? Will The Supreme Court Establish or Endorse a Test for Determining Separability of Protectable Copyright Design from Otherwise Unprotectable Useful Articles? On November 1, 2016, the Supreme Court of the U.S. heard oral arguments in a case disputing the availability…

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01

Nov 2013

Jury awards $3.2 million to Texas firm in Architectural Copyright case

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 25, 2012 – Kipp Flores Architects prevailed in a copyright infringement suit filed against Hallmark Design Homes as a federal jury returned a $3.2 million verdict for the Austin, Texas-based firm. The jury in the U.S. District Court in Houston found that Hallmark infringed Kipp Flores Architects’ copyrights by constructing hundreds of houses from copyrighted architectural designs in violation of federal law. The…

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01

Oct 2013

Updates and Changes in Chinese Trademark and Copyright Law

The PRC recently passed legislation affecting intellectual property rights which will take effect on May 1, 2014.  The following is a synopsis of some of the most salient points. Multi-Class Applications Applicants may now file for trademark registration in several classes in a single application.  Previously, only one class was permitted per application.  This change is expected to streamline the trademark process and cut down…

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20

May 2013

Home Design Firm Awarded $1.3 Million in Architectural Copyright Case

HOUSTON, Texas, May 20, 2013 – A federal district court has awarded $1.3 million to a Texas design firm in an architectural copyright case, according to Osha Liang LLP. Houston-based Hewlett Custom Home Designs, Inc., whose clients include Fortune 500 executives and celebrities such as Charles Barkley, claimed that Frontier Custom Builders, Inc. infringed Hewlett’s copyrighted designs in violation of federal law. The jury in…

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11

Nov 2012

U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms $3.2 Million Award in Architectural Copyright Case

AUSTIN, Texas, November 7, 2012 – The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed a $3.2 million award to an Austin, Texas firm in an architectural copyright case. Last year, a federal jury returned a $3.2 million verdict for Kipp Flores Architects.  The jury found that Hallmark Design Homes infringed Kipp Flores Architects’ copyrights by constructing hundreds of houses from copyrighted…

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27

May 2020

U.S. Supreme Court 2020 Update – What’s Still Undecided?

By Peter Schechter 繁體中文 So far in 2020, the U.S Supreme Court has decided that states cannot be sued for copyright infringement,[1] that PTAB IPR institution decisions regarding time bar issues are not appealable,[2] that the published version of Georgia state law code along with its annotations cannot be protected by copyright,[3] and that proof of “willful” infringement is not a statutory prerequisite to a…

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07

Jan 2020

In AIA Validity Challenges, Patents Are Better Prior Art Than Printed Publications

By Peter Schechter Anyone other than the Patent Owner may request cancellation as unpatentable one or more claims of a U.S. patent in an Inter Partes Review proceeding.  The America Invents Act, in 35 U.S.C. Section 311(b), provides that an IPR Petitioner may challenge patentability “only on a ground that could be raised under section [35 U.S.C Section] 102 (anticipation) or 103 (obviousness) and only…

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08

Nov 2019

The Marrakesh Treaty Aims to Reduce the “Global Book Famine”

By Peter Schechter 繁體中文 The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, simply known as the Marrakesh Treaty, makes the production and international transfer of specially-adapted books for people with blindness or visual impairments easier.  The purpose of the Treaty is to address and reduce a “global book famine.”  Countries that join the…

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05

Aug 2019

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Mission Product Resolves Issues Surrounding Trademark Agreements Rejected in Bankruptcy

By Califf Cooper and Keelin Hargadon 繁體中文 In Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC, No. 17-1657 (S.Ct. May 20, 2019), the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that will have broad implications for licenses and other agreements in bankruptcy.  The Court held that agreements rejected by a debtor in bankruptcy are not terminated.  Instead, the non-debtor party retains whatever rights it would have under…

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26

Jun 2019

New Graphical User Interface (GUI) Protection in Japan

By Mutsumi Fukuoka 繁體中文 Under Japanese law, graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are traditionally protected by the Patent Act in the same manner as other technologies.  For example, published Japanese Patent Application No. 2019-050004, assigned to Apple, Inc., discloses an electronic device that displays a special user interface.  In thisapplication, the special user interface displays different interface layers depending on different touch inputs to a touchscreen….

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01

Oct 2018

Not Simply Renamed – “SIPO” becomes “CNIPA”

By: Han-Mei Tso On September 3, 2018, the State Intellectual Property Office of China announced on its website[1] that the English name of the Chinese governmental body has changed from the “State Intellectual Property Office” (“SIPO”) to the “China National Intellectual Property Administration” (“CNIPA”).  Accordingly, the agency’s English abbreviation of the bureau has changed from “SIPO” to “CNIPA” as well.  The website domain has also…

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01

Aug 2018

The First Case in China Using Blockchain Technology to Preserve Electronic Evidence

By: Han-Mei Tso and Jude Yi On June 28, 2018, the Hangzhou Internet Court of China (the “Court”) made a public judgment regarding a dispute over infringement of the right to disseminate work on the Internet.  In this judgment, the Court accepted the use of electronic data as evidence preserved by blockchain technology in a legal dispute while also specifying a method and process for…

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31

May 2018

Thoughts on Printed Matter

By: Jonathan Osha Does printed matter need to be printed?  A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit doesn’t think so.  The Federal Circuit has applied the “printed matter doctrine” – a doctrine that excludes patents on printed matter unless the printed matter is related to the functionality of what is being claimed – to “information” as such, on the…

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30

Apr 2018

Meetings with WIPO, WTO and EPO

In his role as first deputy reporter general of The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI), Jonathan Osha joined the bureau delegation that recently visited the WIPO and the WTO in Geneva and the EPO in Munich. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) The AIPPI delegation met with WIPO in Geneva on Monday, March 26, 2018.  After introductory remarks by Director General Francis…

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30

Apr 2018

China to Restructure SIPO – A Step Toward Better IP Protection

By: Han-Mei Tso On March 13, 2018, after deliberation at the First Meeting of the 13th National People’s Congress of China, the “State Council Institutional Reform Plan” (hereinafter referred to as the “Reform Plan”) was passed. This drastic Reform Plan involves the cancellation, formation, or restructure of a number of State Council departments and subordinate agencies under the State Council, including the State Intellectual Property…

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26

Feb 2018

The First Court Decision on GUI Design Patent Infringement in China

By: Han-Mei Tso and Jude Yi In the modern world, electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, have become indispensable in our lives.  Graphical User Interface (GUI) plays a significant role in promoting ease of use and visual attraction to users of the products, particularly electronic and software products.  GUI often provides iconic features that cause consumers to immediately associate the GUI with a…

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