Mealey's Copyright

  • July 02, 2020

    Manufacturer, Contractors Debate Technical Drawings’ Copyright In 6th Circuit

    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.).

  • June 16, 2020

    COMMENTARY: Flexible Copyright Office Guidelines During COVID-19 Pandemic

    By Meaghan H. Kent and Danae Tinelli

  • June 30, 2020

    4th Circuit Finds Jurisdiction Over Russian Stream-Ripping Websites

    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).

  • June 30, 2020

    Judge Denies Injunction To Chicken Wings Restaurant In Trademark Infringement Suit

    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).

  • June 26, 2020

    9th Circuit Affirms: Jurisdiction Lacking In Copyright Case

    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).

  • June 25, 2020

    Copyright Claims Over ‘The Shape Of Water’ Reinstated By Panel

    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).

  • June 23, 2020

    Intellectual Property Exclusion Bars Coverage; Exception Does Not Apply, Panel Says

    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).

  • June 18, 2020

    7th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Fees In Copyright, Trademark Row

    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).

  • June 16, 2020

    9th Circuit Reverses Fee Award In Loss For Copyright Defendant

    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).

  • June 12, 2020

    In Copyright Dispute Over ‘Makeup Artistry,’ Panel Affirms Dismissal

    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).

  • June 11, 2020

    Panel Upholds Denial Of Dismissal Motion By Wales In Copyright Row

    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).

  • June 11, 2020

    In Copyright Case, 9th Circuit Vacates Dismissal For Failure To Prosecute

    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).

  • June 03, 2020

    Divided 6th Circuit Reverses, Remands $296K Award In Copyright Case

    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).

  • June 02, 2020

    Panel: Trial Court Must Query Copyright Office Over Alleged Inaccuracies

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a May 29 decision, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a California federal judge’s final judgment of willful infringement following a jury trial in a copyright case on grounds that the district court was required to submit a defendant’s allegation that the copyright registration in question contained inaccurate information to the Register of Copyrights (Unicolors Inc. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz L.P., Nos. 18-56253, 56548, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 17097).

  • May 28, 2020

    Writer Asks 2nd Circuit To Reconsider Authorship In Seinfeld Copyright Dispute

    NEW YORK — A former collaborator of Jerry Seinfeld asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rehear an appeal that dismissed his copyright claims over the comedian’s series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” arguing in his May 22 petition for rehearing that a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision pertaining to accrual of authorship claims supports his claims (Christian Charles v. Jerry Seinfeld, et al., No. 19-3335, 2nd Cir.).

  • May 27, 2020

    Supreme Court Turns Away Copyright Dispute Over Seismic Data

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its May 26 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will not review a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a Texas company possessed an implied copyright license to use a Canadian company’s decades-old seismic data (Geophysical Service Inc. v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co., No. 19-873, U.S. Sup.).

  • May 21, 2020

    Panel Vacates Magistrate Judge’s Flawed Findings In Trade Secret, Copyright Suit

    ATLANTA — A federal magistrate judge erred in determining that although a software company had sufficiently shown that its transformative database is a trade secret in a pair of lawsuits against industry competitors, the company failed to show that the defendants misappropriated the trade secret because he failed to consider multiple alternative types of misappropriation contemplated under Florida’s trade secret law, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 20 in partly remanding the magistrate judge’s findings of fact (Compulife Software Inc. v. Moses Newman, et al., Nos. 18-12004 and 18-12007, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 16052).

  • May 20, 2020

    Denial Of Relief In Light Sculpture Copyright Case Affirmed On Appeal

    CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 14 upheld a Tennessee federal judge’s decision to deny a copyright owner’s request for an injunction that would have barred a Christmas-themed light show from taking place during the 2019 holiday season (Enchant Christmas Light Maze & Market Ltd. v. Glowco LLC, et al., No. 19-6282, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 15482).

  • May 19, 2020

    In Software Copyright Row, Oracle Seeks Sanctions For Rimini’s ‘Vexatious’ Motion

    LAS VEGAS — In the latest dispute between Oracle USA Inc. and Rimini Street Inc. in their decadelong lawsuit over copyright infringements and software licenses, Oracle on May 12 filed a motion for sanctions in response to Rimini’s recent motion to enforce, which the plaintiff characterizes as harassment and an example of the defendant’s repeated attempts “to circumvent and undermine” an injunction issued against it by the Nevada federal court (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-00106, D. Nev.).

  • May 19, 2020

    Photos Used By Zillow Deemed Not A Compilation In Remanded Copyright Suit

    SEATTLE — On remand after a mixed Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, a Washington federal judge on May 8 ruled that a subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the copyright registration requirement did not affect the status of the lawsuit in which Zillow Group Inc. was found to have infringed the copyrights of photos posted in its online real estate listings (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-01096, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81714).