Copyright & Trademark Matters Insights and Developments in Copyright and Trademark Law

Category Archives: Copyright Infringement

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It’s a Material IP World: Trademarks, Copyrights, Design Patents and Fabric Designs

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Distinctiveness, Fabric Design, Fashion, Fashion, Product Design, Section 2(e) - Functionality, Section 2(f), Trademark, Trademark Infringement, Useful Artticles

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller Fabric design is a creative art form that has existed for thousands of years. Although the methods for creating such designs have evolved, the purpose and function of such designs has not changed as significantly.  Fabric designs are used for purely ornamental and decorative purposes, for purposes of identity, and… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Decides Aereo Internet Broadcast Television Case

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Public Display, Public Performance

Written by:  Joseph M. Dicioccio Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court released its widely-anticipated decision in American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. et al. v. Aereo, Inc., wherein it reversed and remanded for further consideration a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that held that Aereo’s “watch” feature was not a “public performance”… Continue Reading

OSPs: Are You Sure You Are Safely Within the DMCA Safe Harbor?

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Safe Harbor

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), signed into law October 28, 1998, added Section 512 to the US Copyright Act limiting the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement. Basically, the law exempts from liability online service providers on whose sites third-party users store, post, or otherwise place various… Continue Reading

Hershey Is Not So Sweet on Maryland Senator’s HERSHEY Campaign Logo

Posted in Color, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Fair Use, Trademark, Trademark Infringement

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller When you think of The Hershey Company, you think of delicious chocolate candy bars, chocolate kisses, and a fabulous amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company’s brown candy bar wrappers with the HERSHEY’S trademark prominently displayed on the front have been in use since, at least, 1905, and the company… Continue Reading

Willful Infringement of Copyright in Haitian Earthquake Photographs Cost AFP and Getty $1.2 Million

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Damages, Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Safe Harbor, Statutory Damages

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller A federal jury in New York has found Agence France-Presse and Getty Images Inc. willful in their infringement of Daniel Morel’s copyrights in eight photographs of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and ordered them to pay damages of $1.2 million. The court had already found AFP  liable for direct copyright infringement… Continue Reading

Court Narrows Claims Surrounding “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU” Copyright Suit

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Music

Written by: Joseph M. DiCioccio Following up on a previous post regarding the lawsuit winding its way through federal court seeking clarity on whether the music publisher Warner Chappell owns or has the exclusive right to license the copyright in the ubiquitous “Happy Birthday to You” song, U.S. District Judge George H. King (Central District… Continue Reading

Google, Yahoo, and Ad Networks Agrees to Set of Best Practices to Combat Online Piracy

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Counterfeits, Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Safe Harbor, Trademark Infringement

Written by: Joseph M. DiCioccio The United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel recently blogged about a new effort to combat online piracy of intellectual property.  The broad-based effort attempts to leverage the participation of several large internet/publishing companies (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and Condé Nast), advertising networks (24/7 Media, Adtegrity) and the Interactive… Continue Reading

DOES A VALID COPYRIGHT EXIST IN THE SONG “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU”?

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Music, Public Domain

Written by: Joseph M. DiCioccio Ownership of a copyright in one of the most popular songs in the English language has recently been challenged in several lawsuits around the country.  At the heart of the dispute is whether the music publisher Warner Chappell legitimately owns a copyright in, and thus has the right to license… Continue Reading

Copyright Infringement Damages Upheld in File Sharing Case

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Damages, Litigation, Music, Statutory Damages

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller  The Tenebaum copyright infringement file sharing case, about which we first reported in an earlier blog, reached another milestone this week when the First Circuit upheld the jury’s $675, 000 damages award. Tenenbaum had been found liable for illegally downloading 30 songs and a jury awarded statutory damages of $22,… Continue Reading

Contributory Infringement and Copyrights:

Posted in Contributory Infringement, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Litigation, Vicarious Infringement

If It Involves Your Customer, It Could be Your Problem Too Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller Right on the heels of our blog on trademarks and contributory infringement, comes a case in which the court refused to dismiss a claim against Amazon for sales by third parties of allegedly infringing photographs on its site. The… Continue Reading

THE COPYRIGHT ALERT SYSTEM – COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND THE EDUCATIONAL APPROACH

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Fair Use

Written by:      Joseph M. DiCioccio There have been many attempts over the last few years to address online copyright infringement.  The most recent effort is the Copyright Alert System (“CAS”), which was rolled out in February 2013 as a system created to educate and alert the public about the dangers and harm caused by copyright… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Expands Personal Jurisdiction over Willful Copyright Infringers

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Fashion, Litigation

My colleagues in our Litigation practice, Harvey Saferstein and Nada I. Shamonki, recently authored an alert “Another Shoe Drops in Washington: Ninth Circuit Expands Personal Jurisdiction over Willful Copyright Infringers”. On December 17, in Washington Shoe Co. v. A-Z Sporting Goods, Inc., the Ninth Circuit expanded the exercise by Federal District Courts of personal jurisdiction over… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in the First Sale Case

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, First Sale

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller Despite Hurricane Sandy, the US Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday, October 29, 2012 on whether the “first-sale doctrine” of US copyright law applies to goods made outside the US. The substance of the case, as we reported to you previously, is the specific language in the first-zero rule which… Continue Reading

Update: S. 3523 Passes U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Fashion, Legislation, Trademark Infringement

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller The bill to extend intellectual property protection to the fashion industry, S. 3523, the substance of which we reported recently, has passed the US Senate Judiciary Committee without amendment. By voice vote on September 20, the bill passed with Senators Lee (R-Utah), Kyl (R-Ariz), Cornyn (R-Texas) and Coburn (R-Okla.) voting… Continue Reading

S. 3523: Louboutin, Lululemon, and Fashion Design: Finally Getting Some Respect?

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Fashion, Legislation, Trademark

 Written by Susan Neuberger Weller A few weeks ago, the Second Circuit’s ruling in the Louboutin decision made clear that color as a trademark can be protected in the fashion industry.  Recently, Lululemon has sued Calvin Klein for design patent infringement over the design of yoga pants. And just before Fashion Week in New York City, New York… Continue Reading

Further to the “Copying from the Internet” Issue…..

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Damages, Fair Use, Litigation

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller In our August 14th blog, we explained why just because you can copy something from the Internet, doesn’t mean you should copy from the Internet. A case on this very issue that has been around for several years involved the well-known “Hope” poster of President Obama’s face made during the… Continue Reading

The U.S. Government Supports Textbook Publisher in First Sale Case

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, First Sale

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller As previously reported, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving the territorial limits of the first sale doctrine under U.S. copyright law. Oral arguments in that case have been set for October 29.  The U.S. solicitor general, in an amicus brief filed in support of the… Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum with LXBN TV

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Damages, Statutory Damages

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller Following up on my post on the subject, I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding Song BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum. In the brief interview, I explain the background of the case and why Tenenbaum ended up being ordered to pay such a hefty price for… Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert to Decide Scope of First Sale Doctrine

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, First Sale, Litigation

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller The U.S. Supreme Court has granted cert in order to decide an issue of great importance to all businesses involved in manufacturing and distributing products throughout the world, particularly those  involved in retailing and importation, namely, whether foreign made works intended for sale outside the U.S., in which the copyright… Continue Reading

Politician Settling Case for Unauthorized Use of Music at Campaign Events

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Music

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller It appears that Newt Gingrich and Frankie Sullivan, a member of the rock band Survivor, and his company Rude Music , have reached a tentative settlement in the latter’s copyright infringement suits against Gingrich for use of the song “Eye of the Tiger” during Gingrich’s presidential campaign bid. In Rude… Continue Reading

Are You Willing to Pay $22,500 to Download A Song?

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Damages, Statutory Damages

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller The August 23, 2012 decision in Song BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the most recent in this extended litigation, leaves no doubt that individuals who download music and distribute it without proper authorization through peer-to-peer file sharing sites are subject to liability for copyright infringement and payment of substantial statutory damages for… Continue Reading

Just Because You Can Copy It Does Not Mean That You May Copy It

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Damages, Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Fair Use, Pinterest, Safe Harbor

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller In a number of recent cases, individual photographers have successfully sued third parties for unauthorized reproduction and use of photographs, particularly those from stock photography sources. Courts have found third party liability for willful and innocent copyright infringement for the use of individual photographs and have awarded damages to copyright… Continue Reading

Google Search Results Will Reflect Repeated Copyright Infringement

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Legislation, PIPA

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller On Friday, August 10, 2012, Google announced that it was changing its search algorithms so that websites with high numbers of valid copyright infringement removal notices would appear much lower in the search results. This announcement was greeted with strong approval by many online copyright content owners who have for… Continue Reading