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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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.).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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).