News and Articles

Copyright and Architecture

In 2004, the Fourth Circuit revived a two prong test for a copyright claim involving architecture between two home builders in Charles W. Ross Builder, Inc. v. Olsen Fine Home Building, 2012 WL 5447871 (4th Cir. Nov. 8, 2012). Rick and Jennifer Rubin, who wished to build new home, had visited the plaintiff Ross’s model home and received a copy of a brochure, including the “Bainbridge” model allegedly copied by




Court Finds Appropriated and Altered Art Protected Under Fair Use

In the world of art, stimulating creativity becomes a constant battle between allotting freedom to new works of art while protecting original artists. Fundamentally, copyright’s aim is to promote creativity in order to benefit the public. By granting exclusive rights to authors, ideally copyright law incentivizes such creativity by original authors. But copyrights must not hamper free speech, and ideally not derivational creativity with value in the marketplace. This struggle




Copyright Violation and the Constitutionality of Excessive Damages – Music Downloaders Beware!

The Eight Circuit affirmed the constitutionality of statutory damages for copyright infringement against the challenge that it is disproportionately excessive in Capitol Records, Inc. v. Thomas-Rasset, 692 F.3d 899 (8th Cir. 2012). In 2011, record companies sued a woman for making copyrighted music available to others for free download by using a file-sharing service.  First the jury awarded the record companies $222,000 in damage.  Months after the verdict, however, the district court granted a new




America Invents Act Creates a Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents

The America Invents Act (AIA) creates new administrative trial procedures to challenge patentability outside litigation before a district court venue. These trial procedures are namely (1) Post Grant Review (PGR), (2) Inter Partes Review (IPR) and (3) a transitional program for covered business method (CBM) patents. These laws went into effect on September 16, 2012. This update covers the transitional program for covered business method patents. A specific post-grant review




First Sale in Copyrights - Supreme Court takes a Fresh Look

On March, 19 2013, the Supreme Court held that the “first sale” doctrine, which allows the owner of a copyrighted work to sell or otherwise dispose of that copy as he wishes, applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad. In a six to three decision, the Court reversed previous lower court rulings and ruled in favor of defendant, Supap Kirtsaeng. While studying in the United States, Thailand




IP License Agreements Under the AIA

Over the past few years, there has been an ongoing subject matter jurisdiction battle between state courts and federal circuit courts. This jurisdiction battle is especially prevalent in cases where a complaint asserts a non-patent cause of action with an underlying patent issue, such as disputes over intellectual property licensing or malpractice claims. In most patent cases the “arising under” analysis for the Federal Circuit jurisdiction is fairly straight forward because a




The Federal Circuit Rules on Apple v. ITC

On August 7, 2013, the Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part the lower court’s decision in Apple Inc. v. ITC (2012-1338) finding no Section 337 violation in Certain Mobile Devices, and Related Software Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-750). The Federal Circuit ruled that Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 7,663,607, which related to a touch panel with a transparent capacitive sensing medium that can detect multiple touches at once, was invalid for anticipation and obviousness, and




RAND Obligations and Injunctive Relief

Entities that are parts of technology standard-setting organizations are typically required to promise, in some fashion, to license patents essential to any resultant standard on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms. Once the standard has been promulgated, the standard essential patents (“SEP”s) may be asserted in litigation and the patent holder is expected to live up to reasonable and non-discriminatory (“RAND”) terms. A thorny issue for courts and litigants in the context




The New Way to Challenge A Patent When Threatened: America Invents Act Creates the Post Grant Review

The America Invents Act (AIA) creates new administrative trial procedures to challenge patentability outside litigation before a district court venue. These trial procedures are namely (1) Post Grant Review (PGR), (2) Inter Partes Review (IPR) and (3) a transitional program for covered business method patents. These laws went into effect on September 16, 2012. This article covers the basics of the Post Grant review. Post Grant Review (PGR) Inter Partes




The Lanham Act and Jim Brown

On July 31, 2013, the Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of the Lanham Act claims brought by Jim Brown, a former NFL star, against video game developer Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA). The court concluded that the Rogers balancing test was the appropriate standard to evaluate defendant EA’s use of Brown’s likeness in video games, and since the use of his likeness was artistically relevant to games, it is protected by the