WASHINGTON, D.C. — Citing a previous petition for certiorari filed by Google LLC more than four years earlier, Oracle America Inc. filed a brief March 27 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the company’s newly filed petition in the long-running dispute over the copyrightability of Java computer code, arguing that Google raises previously rejected arguments without identifying a circuit split that needs to be resolved (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — Arguing that defendant VidAngel Inc. has been uncooperative in efforts to compile a list of copyrighted movies and programs that were part of its online streaming and filtering service, a group of plaintiff movie studios asks a California federal court in a March 22 motion to require the defendant to comply with the procedure prior to a scheduled June 11 trial on damages for copyright infringement for which VidAngel has already been found liable (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari March 25 in a copyright dispute involving an iconic photograph of Michael Jordan (Jacobus Rentmeester v. Nike Inc., No. 18-728, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a March 21 unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no error in a California federal judge’s determination that inclusion of 11 fabric designs in a catalogue constituted publication under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, thereby rendering their later copyright registrations as unpublished works invalid (Urban Textile Inc. v. Rue 21 Inc., et al., No. 17-56749, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 8332).
SHERMAN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on March 11 ruled that defendants in a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit have failed to show that certain claims are preempted by either the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) or, alternatively, the federal Copyright Act or Patent Act (Performance Pulsation Control Inc. v. Sigma Drilling Technologies LLC, et al., No. 17-0450, E.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38035).
BOSTON — In a March 19 decision, a Massachusetts federal judge dismissed allegations of copyright infringement by the photographer of a stained-glass wall pursuant to a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court (Cynthia Foss d/b/a Hunter Foss Design v. Spencer Brewery, et al., No. 18-40125, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44408).
TRENTON, N.J. — A dispute between collaborators on a nonfiction book detailing the life of a former sex trafficking victim will proceed in New York federal court, a New Jersey federal judge ruled March 15 (Lockey Maisonneuve v. Benedict Caiola, No. 18-13955, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43260).
SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 15 vacated a Washington federal jury’s verdict that Zillow Group Inc. is a willful copyright infringer (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., et al., No. 17-35587 and 17-35588, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7671).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Appealing a ruling by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that deemed the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) not copyrightable, the state of Georgia on March 1 filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the ruling improperly expanded the scope of the government edicts doctrine and deepened an already existing circuit split over whether annotations accompanying laws can be copyrighted (Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150, U.S. Sup.).
LAS VEGAS — Citing “grave concerns” that Rimini Street Inc. is not fully complying with a permanent injunction issued against it in a long-running software copyright dispute, Oracle USA Inc. on Feb. 27 asked a Nevada federal court for leave to conduct limited discovery to determine the extent of the defendant’s compliance or noncompliance (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-00106, D. Nev.).
NEW YORK — In a March 6 holding, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a copyright infringement plaintiff’s claims against the disseminator of an article that allegedly incorporated diagrams from her dissertation (Guenevere Perry v. Mary Ann Liebert Inc., No. 18-2019, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 6688).
CINCINNATI — In a March 4 order, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that it need not address the Ohio State University Marching Band’s entitlement to sovereign immunity in a copyright case because the plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a claim on which relief could be granted (John Hill v. Jon Waters, et al., No. 18-3208, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 6584).
NEW YORK — Buzzfeed Inc. failed to establish that it is entitled to safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) from a photographer’s copyright infringement claim over a posted picture, a New York federal judge ruled March 1, finding that the plaintiff sufficiently established knowledge of infringement to survive the website operator’s motion to dismiss (Joe Myeress v. Buzzfeed Inc., No. 1:18-cv-02365, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33148).
ORLANDO, Fla. — In a March 4 ruling, a Florida federal judge rejected allegations that a defendant acted improperly in 2012 and 2013 when it sent takedown notices to YouTube that asserted copyright infringement by a user (Shirley Johnson v. New Destiny Christian Center Church Inc., et al., No. 17-710, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33513).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on March 4 ruled that a copyright infringement action can be filed only upon receipt of a copyright registration from the U.S. Copyright Office (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).
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).