Mealey's Copyright

  • October 21, 2020

    Refusal To Vacate Default In Copyright Case Affirmed By 10th Circuit

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Oct. 15 order upheld an Oklahoma federal judge’s denial of a copyright infringement defendant’s motion for relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) (Christ Center of Divine Philosophy Inc. v. Ellen Veronica Elam, No. 19-6186, 10th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 32533).

  • October 21, 2020

    New York Federal Judge: American Flag Design Is Sufficiently Original

    NEW YORK — A defendant’s motion to dismiss allegations of copyright infringement leveled in connection with an image of the American flag was denied Oct. 16 by a federal judge in New York, who found that the plaintiff’s design might merit copyright protection (NYC Image International Inc. v. RS USA Inc., No. 19-10355, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193016).

  • October 15, 2020

    New Hampshire Federal Judge Won’t Strike New Expert Report In Copyright Row

    CONCORD, N.H. — A request by a prevailing copyright infringement plaintiff to strike various portions of a defendant’s expert report on damages was denied Oct. 14 by a federal judge in New Hampshire (D’Pergo Custom Guitars Inc. v. Sweetwater Sound Inc., No. 17-747, D. N.H., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189935).

  • October 15, 2020

    Sealed Rehearing Bid In Copyright Preemption Row Denied By 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 28 denied panel rehearing and rehearing en banc of findings issued in August that Oracle America Inc.’s allegations that Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) are preempted by federal copyright law (Oracle America Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, No. 19-15506, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 30835).

  • October 14, 2020

    Arizona Federal Judge Again Denies Dismissal In Porn.com Copyright Row

    PHOENIX — An individual defendant must face allegations of copyright infringement leveled in connection with his role as president of a company that helped operate the website Porn.com, a federal judge in Arizona ruled Oct. 9 (AMA Multimedia LLC v. Sagan Limited, et al., No. 16-1269, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188394).

  • October 07, 2020

    Google, Oracle Square Off Before High Court In Java Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a decade-old copyright dispute over the Java 2 Standard Edition Platform (Java SE), an attorney for Oracle America Inc. in telephonic oral arguments on Oct. 7 stressed to the U.S. Supreme Court that "code is code" (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 06, 2020

    Copyright Row Between Steinbeck Heirs Turned Away By Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A dispute over collateral estoppel and the rights of heirs to terminate copyright licenses under the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (CTEA) will not be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, which on Oct. 5 denied certiorari as requested by the estate of author John Steinbeck's son (The Estate of Thomas Steinbeck, et al. v. Waverly Scott Kaffaga, No. 19-1181, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 06, 2020

    Supreme Court Denies Cert In 'Stairway To Heaven' Copyright Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Oct. 5 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court revealed it will let stand findings by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the Led Zeppelin classic song "Stairway To Heaven" does not infringe a copyrighted song by the band Spirit (Michael Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin, et al., No. 20-142, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 01, 2020

    Advertising Firm Appeals Pepsi Ad Copyright Ruling To 2nd Circuit

    NEW YORK — Arguing that PepsiCo. Inc. did not abide by the provisions of an agency services agreement, a Connecticut advertising agency tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in its Sept. 11 appellant brief that a trial court erred in finding no substantial similarity between an ad that it pitched to the soft drink firm and television advertisements company ended up airing (Betty Inc. v. PepsiCo Inc., No. 20-891, 2nd Cir.).

  • October 01, 2020

    Panel Upholds Dismissal Of Pro Se Lanham Act, Copyright Claims

    ATLANTA — In a Sept. 30 unpublished opinion, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a Georgia federal judge's rejection of allegations that several appellees filed fraudulent trademark infringement notices and misrepresented the nature of a trademark injunction in their dispute with a former distributor (Steven Mandala v. Tire Stickers LLC, et al., No. 19-14416, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 31016).

  • September 28, 2020

    Experts Allowed In Video Game Copyright Case Over Pro Wrestler's Tattoos

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Two expert witnesses for a woman alleging copyright infringement by the makers of professional wrestling video games for reproducing the tattoos she inked on one wrestler withstood challenges to their opinions on video game design and damages when an Illinois federal judge on Sept. 26 denied motions to exclude the experts' testimony from trial (Catherine Alexander v. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., No. 18-966, S.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177131).

  • September 24, 2020

    6th Circuit Upholds Jury Verdict In Training Manual Copyright Row

    CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Tennessee did not err in instructing jurors that where use of "unauthorized preexisting material pervades the entire work . . . copyright protection may not be granted," the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 23 (Hiller LLC v. Success Group International Learning Alliance LLC, et al., No. 19-6115, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 30396).

  • September 24, 2020

    On Remand, Plaintiff Prevails In 'Cathy's Clown' Copyright Row

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee federal judge on Sept. 22 deemed three defendants asserting co-authorship rights in the Everly Brothers' song "Cathy's Clown" "aggressors" in the case, in that they "clearly seek affirmative relief" and assert grounds that "effectively mirror their defense" to a plaintiff's declaratory judgment action with regard to the validity of a termination notice (Isaac Donald Everly v. Patrice Everly, et al., No. 17-1440, M.D. Tenn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173698).

  • September 22, 2020

    Professional Photographer Prevails In New York Copyright Case Against Designer

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 18 awarded a professional photographer partial summary judgment on his copyright claim leveled in connection with the display by Elie Tahari Ltd. of his picture of model Linh Niller on social media without his consent (Mark Iantosca v. Elie Tahari, Ltd., No. 19-4527, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171512).

  • September 21, 2020

    Rejection Of Copyright, Trademark Case By Used Car Dealership Affirmed

    ATLANTA — A federal judge in Florida did not err in rejecting on summary judgment allegations of copyright and trademark infringement levied by a used car dealership against a competitor, in connection with the parties' billboard advertisements, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 17 (Off Lease Only Inc. v. Lakeland Motors LLC, No. 20-10825, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 29691).

  • September 18, 2020

    Software Firm Seeks Extension To Respond To All Writs Act Petition

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a long-running dispute over copyright infringement and software licensing between a British and an American company, the American firm on Sept. 16 filed a motion in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a 60-day extension of its deadline to respond to a petition for certiorari concerning the authority of U.S. courts to enforce monetary judgments against foreign companies under the All Writs Act (AWA) (World Programming Limited v. SAS Institute Inc., No. 20-304, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 18, 2020

    High Court Wants Brief From Disney To Petition Over Characters' Copyrightability

    WASHINGTON, D.C.  — A month after The Walt Disney Co. waived its right to respond to a petition for certiorari in a case where both a trial court and an appeals court found that Disney's movie "Inside Out" did not infringe characters created by a child development expert, the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 16 requested a response from the company to address questions about the proper copyright standard for fictional characters (The Moodsters Co. v. The Walt Disney Co., et al., No. 20-132, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 17, 2020

    3rd Circuit Upholds Denial Of Fee Request In Copyright Row

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16  found that it need not answer the question of whether the voluntary dismissal of copyright infringement claims renders a defendant a "prevailing party" for purposes of an award of attorney fees because a New Jersey federal judge correctly deemed the defendant unentitled to such an award (Morning Sun Books Inc. v. Uncle Dave's Brass Model Trains, No. 18-3510, 3rd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 29448).

  • September 16, 2020

    Oracle Prevails In Longstanding Copyright Row With Rimini Street

    LAS VEGAS — In a 94-page order issued Sept. 14, a federal judge in Nevada — in response to seven separate motions for partial summary judgment — ruled in favor of software maker and copyright infringement counterclaimant Oracle Corp., rejecting various defenses raised by a plaintiff seeking a declaration of noninfringement (Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle Corp., No. 14-1699, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168222).

  • September 16, 2020

    DISH Wins Dismissal Of Illinois Federal Copyright Claims

    CHICAGO — A copyright dispute over the retransmission of local television stations to DISH Network subscribers was dismissed Sept. 14 by a federal judge in Illinois, who found that DISH had consent to continue airing footage from 13 Cox Enterprises television stations (Terrier Media Buyer Inc. v. DISH Network, No. 20-583, N.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167540).