Mealey's Copyright

  • July 21, 2017

    11th Circuit Upholds Rejection Of Copyright, Trademark Claims

    ATLANTA — Allegations that a copyright and trademark infringement defendant befriended a plaintiff under false pretenses in order to misappropriate portions of her autobiography for a line of perfumes were properly rejected by a Georgia federal judge, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 18 (Daisy Byrd Mobley v. Claire Fermont-Langlais, et al., No. 16-12340, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12841).

  • July 14, 2017

    Megaupload Executives Say Circuit Split Requires Review Of Foreign Asset Seizure

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former executives of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on June 21, supporting their petition for certiorari and urging review and clarification of procedures governing the seizure of foreign assets under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA), which the petitioners say the U.S. government wrongly invoked to seize their assets in a criminal copyright case (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).

  • July 14, 2017

    Internet Service Provider Appeals Infringement Ruling, Fees Award To 4th Circuit

    RICHMOND, Va. — With briefing completed on its appeal of a trial court finding it contributorily liable for users’ online infringement, an internet service provider (ISP) on June 28 filed a supplemental brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, voicing its objections to a subsequent award of attorney fees against it (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 16-1972, 17-1352 and 17-1353, 4th Cir.).

  • July 11, 2017

    Amazon Waives Right To Respond To Author’s DMCA Claims, Petition For Certiorari

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the wake of trial and appeals court rulings in its favor, Amazon.com Inc. on June 28 waived its right to respond to a pro se plaintiff’s petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, in which he asserts that the online retailer was negligent in its duty to remove infringing items from its website under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (Reginald Hart v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 16-1549, U.S. Sup.).

  • July 10, 2017

    New York Federal Copyright Claim Against Associated Press Survives Motion

    NEW YORK — A request by The Associated Press and Hearst Communications Inc. for judgment on the pleadings on allegations that they committed copyright infringement was denied July 7 by a New York federal judge, who found that material issues of disputed fact exist with regard to the date the infringement first took place (Michael Grecco v. The Associated Press, et al., No. 16-6240, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105264).

  • July 10, 2017

    Induced Copyright Infringement Claim Tossed By California Federal Judge

    SAN DIEGO — Allegations that various individuals working at the behest of musician Carlos Santana induced others to infringe copyrighted artwork were dismissed July 6 by a California federal judge (Eric Gottesman v. Carlos Santana, et al., No. 16-2902, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104548).

  • July 7, 2017

    California Magistrate Judge Dismisses Trade Secret, Copyright Misuse Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — An affirmative defense of copyright misuse was stricken by a California federal judge on July 5 in a dispute over golf club and golf training aid designs (Jonathan Wang v. Golf Tailor LLC, No. 17-898, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103654).

  • July 6, 2017

    Architectural Expert’s Testimony Mostly Allowed In Home Design Copyright Case

    CLEVELAND — Most of an architectural expert’s testimony in a home design copyright infringement case is reliable and will be helpful in deciding the key issues in dispute; however, he is not allowed to give legal opinions or “dictate the conclusion” of the case, an Ohio federal magistrate judge held July 3 (Design Basics LLC v. Petros Homes Inc., et al., No. 14-1966, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102931).

  • July 5, 2017

    5th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Claim Against American Girl Fails

    NEW ORLEANS — Allegations that several books in the “American Girl” series infringe the copyright of an unpublished novel were properly rejected by a Louisiana federal judge, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 29 in a per curiam ruling (Melva Leona Vallery v. American Girl L.L.C., No. 15-30472, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11647).

  • June 29, 2017

    Vacating Of Fees, Sanctions In Copyright Suit Over Film Appealed To 2nd Circuit

    NEW YORK — In a June 16 appellant brief to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a film production firm argues that a trial court’s remand order, which vacated a previous award of attorney fees and sanctions against a director and his attorney in a copyright dispute over a short film, was based on a misinterpretation of an earlier Second Circuit ruling that had recommended reconsideration of just a small portion of the award (16 Casa Duse LLC v. Alex Merkin, et al., No. 17-0625, 2nd Cir.).

  • June 29, 2017

    9th Circuit Upholds Copyright, Trademark Judgment And Award

    SAN FRANCISCO — A $1.95 million statutory damage award issued in favor of copyright and trademark infringement plaintiff Microsoft Corp. will stand, in light of a June 27 ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Microsoft Corp. v. Buy More Inc., et al., No. 15-56544, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11454).

  • June 23, 2017

    Professional Services Exclusion Does Not Apply, Federal Judge Reiterates

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on June 21 denied insurers’ motion to reconsider an earlier ruling that a professional services exclusion does not apply to bar coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that a consulting company insured conspired with a competitor’s former employee to use the competitor’s copyrighted material and other confidential information (Caveo, LLC v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, Inc., et al., No. 15-6200, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95432).

  • June 22, 2017

    High Court Denies MP3Tunes Founder’s Jurisdictional Challenge In Copyright Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its June 19 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by the founder of now-defunct online music-sharing service MP3Tunes LLC, who argued that neither he nor his former company had sufficient contacts with New York to establish personal jurisdiction over him in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a group of record labels (Michael Robertson v. EMI Christian Music Group, et al., No. 16-1227, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3969).

  • June 22, 2017

    Copyright Defendant Zillow Partly Prevails Following Adverse $8.2 Million Verdict

    SEATTLE — Jurors who in February deemed Zillow Inc. an infringer of 28,125 copyrighted images did not hear sufficient evidence from which to conclude that Zillow failed to take “simple measures” to remove the works from its “Zillow Digs” mobile app, a Washington federal judge ruled June 20 (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., No. 15-1096, W.D. Wash.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95010).

  • June 20, 2017

    Federal Judge Refuses To Transfer Coverage Suit Over Intellectual Property Claims

    SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on June 13 denied a general liability insurer’s motion to transfer the venue of an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying claims that it violated Microsoft Inc.’s intellectual property rights and committed wrongful business practices  (TekVisions Inc. v. The Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-1946, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91583).

  • June 20, 2017

    Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In Copyright Preemption Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its June 19 orders list the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will not review a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals holding that Section 301(a) of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 301(a), preempts state law claims relating to ideas expressed in tangible media (Ultraflo Corp. v. Pelican Tank Parts Inc., et al., No. 16-1085, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 19, 2017

    Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In Dancing Baby Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following a May amicus brief from the U.S. government urging that certiorari be denied in a longstanding copyright dispute over a viral video, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 indicated that it will not hear the case (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 16-217, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 15, 2017

    No Irreparable Harm Showing Leads To Denial Of Injunction In Trade Secrets Suit

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A software company has failed to show that it will suffer irreparable harm unless an injunction is issued preventing defendants in a misappropriation of trade secrets and copyright infringement lawsuit from continuing to misappropriate the company’s confidential and proprietary information a federal judge in Florida ruled June 12 in denying the company’s motion for preliminary injunction (Compulife Software Inc. v. Moses Newman, et al., No. 16-81942, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89674).

  • June 14, 2017

    New York Federal Judge Rejects Bid For Dismissal Of Copyright Claims

    NEW YORK — Efforts by Justin Timberlake and other defendants to dismiss a request for copyright infringement damages occurring before Feb. 17, 2013, were denied June 13 by a New York federal judge (PK Music Performance Inc. v. Justin Timberlake, et al., No. 16-1215, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90562).

  • June 14, 2017

    DOJ Defends Seizing Of Foreign Megaupload Assets To Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a June 7 brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opposes a petition for certiorari by former executives of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload, arguing that a trial court properly deemed them fugitives and ordered seizure of their foreign-held assets in accordance with the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).