SAN FRANCISCO — In a July 10 opening brief in one of two current appeals before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, VidAngel Inc. calls a permanent injunction issued against it in a copyright infringement lawsuit over its online streaming services “vague and overbroad,” asserting that the injunction is unnecessary because it has abandoned the practice that a trial court found to be infringing (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 19-56174, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK — Dish Network Corp. in a May 26 brief asks the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ruling because the company’s insurer did not meet its burden of demonstrating that an exclusion to coverage applies and, therefore, it had a duty to defend the company in underlying litigation (Dish Network Corporation, et al. v. Ace American Insurance Company, No. 20-628, 2nd Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two copyright holders raised infringement class claims against YouTube LLC in California federal court on July 2, asserting that the video-sharing platform operator does not provide smaller copyright holders with access to its Content ID tool, thus requiring them to engage in time-consuming and less effective manual policing of their copyrighted content on the website (Maria Schneider, et al. v. YouTube LLC, et al., No. 3:20-cv-04423, N.D. Calif.)
SEATTLE — In a July 8 order, a Washington federal magistrate judge denied a plaintiff’s request for reconsideration of a June 2020 dismissal of allegations that Amazon.com Inc. and Amazon Digital Services LLC (Amazon, collectively) “make available” for sale unauthorized copies of copyrighted recordings in violation of the plaintiff’s exclusive distribution rights (SA Music LLC et al., v. Amazon.com Inc., et al., Nos. 20-105, -106, -107, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118616).
SAN DIEGO — Finding no evidence that an adult entertainment firm engaged in any misconduct or acted with unclean hands in its motion for discovery to identify a John Doe defendant accused of downloading its copyrighted works, a California federal magistrate judge on July 6 denied Doe’s motion to quash a subpoena served on his internet service provider (ISP) so that the company can pursue its copyright infringement claim against him (Strike 3 Holdings LLC v. John Doe, No. 3:20-cv-00067, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118058).
NEW ORLEANS — In a July 2 ruling, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Texas federal judge’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a copyright infringement defendant, but vacated the judge’s subsequent decision to deny the defendant its request for more than $1 million in attorney fees (Digital Drilling Data Systems L.L.C. v. Petrolink Services Inc., No. 19-20116, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20803).
NEW ORLEANS — A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 30 upheld a Texas federal judge’s determination that two tortious interference defendants are entitled to immunity in connection with cease-and-desist letters they sent that asserted copyright and trademark infringement by a competitor (Construction Cost Data L.L.C. et al., v. Gordian Group Inc., et al., No. 19-20482, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20489).
CINCINNATI— In corrected briefs filed June 24 in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an injection molding manufacturer and its current and past contractors argue over whether a control system made via the former contractor’s technical drawings and designs constitutes copyright infringement or, as a trial court found, is covered by patent law (RJ Control Consultants Inc., et al. v. Multiject LLC, et al., No. 20-1009, 6th Cir.).
By Meaghan H. Kent and Danae Tinelli
RICHMOND, Va. — The operator of two Russian-based “stream-ripping” websites, which a group of record labels accuse of engaging in piracy, has contacts with Virginia that “are quantitatively and qualitatively sufficient to demonstrate that he purposefully availed himself of the privilege of conducting business” in the state, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 26, reversing a trial court’s dismissal of a copyright infringement lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction (UMG Recordings Inc., et al. v. Tofig Kurbanov, et al., No. 19-1124, 4th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20037).
DETROIT — A chicken wings restaurant was denied a preliminary injunction on June 26 by a Michigan federal judge on claims for trademark and trade dress infringement and copyright infringement against another wings restaurant and its franchising company because many restaurants that serve chicken use circles or images of chicken in their logos (Eastpointe DWC, LLC v. Wing Snob Inc., et al., No. 19-13768, E.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108526).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California properly concluded that a Canadian resident accused of copyright infringement is not subject to specific jurisdiction in California under that state’s long-arm statute, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 19 (Jeffrey R. Werner v. Landon Dowlatsingh, No. 18-56349, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19320).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 22 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded to a California federal judge his dismissal of allegations that the popular book and award-winning film “The Shape of Water” infringes the copyrighted play “Let Me Hear You Whisper” (David Zindel v. Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., et al., No. 18-56087, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19444).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 17 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that a commercial general liability insurance policy’s intellectual property (IP) exclusion bars coverage for an underlying copyright infringement lawsuit against an insured and that the exclusion’s “advertising exception” does not apply (Spandex House, Inc. v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. 19-2784, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19177).
CHICAGO — A Wisconsin federal judge did not err in denying a copyright and trademark infringement defendant an award of its attorney fees following a voluntary dismissal of the claims by the defendant’s former employer, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 17 (Timothy B. O’Brien LLC v. David Knott, et al., No. 19-2138, 7th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18957).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 11 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals disagreed with a Nevada federal judge that a defendant accused of disseminating, via BitTorrent network, the copyrighted film “Criminal” is entitled to reimbursement of her attorney fees (Criminal Productions Inc. v. Tracy Cordoba, No. 18-15919, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18538).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 8 upheld a New York federal judge’s rejection of allegations that a photographer and a makeup company incurred legal liability for their use of an appellant’s “makeup artistry” in a photoshoot (Sammy Mourabit v. Steven Klein, et al., No. 19-2142, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18281).
NEW YORK — A dispute over the use by the Welsh government of two copyrighted photographs of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas will proceed, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 8, because the Welsh government — a political subdivision of the United Kingdom — is not entitled to immunity in an infringement action (Pablo Star Ltd., et al. v. The Welsh Government, No. 19-1262, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 17936).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 9 agreed with a copyright owner that a California federal judge abused his discretion in imposing the “harsh penalty” of dismissal for failure to prosecute, just 81 days after the lawsuit was filed (Nick Koudis v. Real Estate Heaven International Inc., No. 19-56016, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18069).
CINCINNATI — A majority panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 1 found that a $296,208 judgment entered against a copyright infringement defendant “shocks the conscience,” requiring remand of the dispute to a Tennessee federal judge for calculation of an appropriate remittitur or, if necessary, to retry the question of damages (Singletary Construction LLC v. Reda Home Builders Inc., et al., No. 19-5491, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 17371).