WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 4 found that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in awarding Oracle USA Inc. more than $12 million in litigation expenses in its longstanding copyright dispute with a software support firm (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two weeks after North Carolina waived its right to respond to a petition for certiorari in an appeal over the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 (CRCA) was unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 19 asked the state to file a brief on whether the statute properly abrogated sovereign immunity in the area of copyright infringement (Frederick L. Allen, et al. v. Roy A. Cooper III, et al., No. 18-877, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The co-owner of the copyright in a biography of a member of the singing group the Four Seasons tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 26 reply brief that use of the work by the creators of the musical “Jersey Boys” did not constitute fair use due to the amount used and the nature of the resulting work (Donna Corbello v. Frankie Valli, et al., No. 17-16337, 9th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — An online streaming service’s claim that it relied on the advice of its counsel as to the legality of its video-filtering services waived attorney-client privilege in any documents or communications on this matter, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 26, granting in part a motion to compel by a group of movie studios in a copyright infringement dispute (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — In a Feb. 27 report and recommendation, a New York federal judge found that a pro se plaintiff’s allegations of copyright and trademark infringement over an alleged knockoff beekeeping product should be dismissed (James H. Fischer v. Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Inc., No. 17-10094, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30353).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Software industry firms, scholars, civil liberties organizations and others voiced their support for Google LLC’s petition for certiorari in 14 amicus curiae briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 22 and 25, voicing their concerns that a copyright ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of Oracle America Inc. jeopardizes long-standing principles of fair use and interoperability in the software industry (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a copyright infringement lawsuit centering on pictures of Michael Jordan, a photographer tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Feb. 20 reply brief supporting his petition for certiorari, that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in declining to find elements of a photograph that reflect creative judgment to be protected by copyright law (Jacobus Rentmeester v. Nike Inc., No. 18-728, U.S. Sup.).
DENVER — In a Feb. 15 decision, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that an Oklahoma federal judge did not err in denying a motion to reconsider his earlier entry of a default judgment and injunction against a pro se defendant accused of copyright infringement (Christ Center of Divine Philosophy Inc. v. Ellen Victoria Elam, No. 18-6089, 10th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 4628).
CINCINNATI — Efforts by a pro se Colorado man to overturn a Tennessee federal judge’s denial of his request for entry of a default judgment against three music industry defendants were unsuccessful Feb. 15, when the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals deemed the argument moot (Mark Halper v. Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, et al., No. 18-5915, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 4720).
LOS ANGELES — Arguing that VidAngel Inc. waived any attorney-client privilege in a memorandum authored by its lawyer by referencing it as a source of its advice-of-counsel defense against willful copyright infringement, a group of plaintiff movie studios asked a California federal court on Feb. 14 to compel the online movie-filtering service to submit the memorandum and any other documents related to its defenses (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO — The owner of a sole-proprietorship failed to sufficiently state a claim for relief for copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets or antitrust and unfair trade practices against her former collaborative partner and others, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 13 in granting a pair of dismissal motions (Sara Elizabeth Siegler v. Sorrento Therapeutics Inc., et al., No. 18-1681, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23779).
OKLAHOMA CITY — Allegations that a Virginia author engaged in copyright misuse when submitting takedown notices to online vendors of e-books indicating that a three-part romance series infringes her copyright were dismissed Feb. 13 by an Oklahoma federal judge (Quill Ink Books Ltd. v. Rachelle Soto, et al., No. 19-920, W.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23095).
LOS ANGELES — A candle maker on Feb. 11 sued another candle company in a California federal court, asserting claims for copyright and trademark infringement and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), alleging that the company made and sold candles using its artwork and federally registered proprietary names (Indio Products, Inc. v. CSP Yemaya International, Inc., et al., No. 2:19cv1018, C.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO — Although rejecting allegations that an architect removed copyright management information (CMI) from copyrighted house plans, an Illinois federal judge on Feb. 11 agreed to allow a plaintiff to move forward with claims of willful infringement (Design Basics LLC, et al. v. WK Olson Architects Inc., et al., No. 17-7432, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21873).
PITTSBURGH — A state court declaratory judgment complaint was properly removed to federal court because the filing contains allegations of ownership of various intellectual property that would be preempted by copyright law, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 11 (Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary of Earth Religion v. Kate Gille, et al., No. 19-12, W.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21516).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An internet-based subscription news and research service on Feb. 7 accused Bloomberg L.P. of copyright infringement and misappropriation of proprietary information under the common-law “hot news” doctrine in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (DBW Partners LLC d/b/a The Capitol Forum v. Bloomberg L.P., et al., No. 19-311, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nike Inc. filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 6, opposing a petition that it says “does not remotely warrant certiorari,” arguing that a photographer who alleged copyright infringement of his picture of Michael Jordan has failed to establish that any protectable expression was copied (Jacobus Rentmeester v. Nike Inc., No. 18-728, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case centering on a copyright fair use defense, Fox News Network LLC and an online media-monitoring service it sued for infringement settled their remanded lawsuit, as a New York federal judge on Jan. 22 approved a confidential settlement and stipulated permanent injunction (Fox News Network LLC v. TVEyes Inc., No. 1:13-cv-05315, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a summary judgment order originally issued Jan. 29 and unsealed, with redactions, on Feb. 6, a California federal judge found that Oracle America Inc.’s allegations that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Co. committed copyright infringement by providing software patches and other technical support for Oracle’s “Solaris” software fail (Oracle America Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, No. 16-1393, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 1 affirmed a New York federal judge’s finding that a novel and manuscript are not substantially similar (Charles C. Green v. Chad Harbach, No. 18-2078, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3633).