Tag Archives: IP Law

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

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 of California) has ordered that certain tangential claims be …

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To Track or Not to Track Re: Digital Advertising

Digital advertising based on tracking users’ interests and related privacy concerns have been the subject of many recent news articles.  What does this mean for businesses?  Evolving industry practices and new legislation relating to online privacy and user tracking likely require changes to online privacy practices and policies. Online privacy and user tracking are in …

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Another Software Patent Horror Story Unmasked and Debunked: This One You Won’t Believe

I have noticed lately that the anti-software patent PR machine is trying pretty hard to find examples of start-ups “crushed” by software patents. Ok, so here is the latest laugher example they came up with:  FindTheBest.com, a company that is nearing its fifth birthday and handling 20 million visitors a month, is supposedly a “start-up” …

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Federal Court Rules That Patent Infringement Can Violate Antitrust Laws

Patent infringement can be considered anticompetitive conduct under federal antitrust law, according to a recent ruling issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. This ruling arose out of a dispute between Retractable Technologies, Inc. (Retractable) and Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD),1 in which Retractable alleges, among other claims, that BD’s infringement of …

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It’s the Words, Not the Ideas, that Are Copyrightable

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dismissed a lawsuit claiming that Elton John and his songwriter partner Bernie Taupin had plagiarized their hit song “Nikita” from a song called “Natasha,” explaining that copyright law does not cover general ideas, but only the specific expression of an idea.  Guy Hobbs v. Elton John, Case …

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

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 Advertising Bureau.  The parties have agreed to voluntarily adopt a set of best practices to remove …

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Next Time, Buy the CDs, Re: Illegal Music Download

Following the lead of other courts addressing statutory penalties for illegal music downloading, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld a $675,000 fine for downloading and distributing 30 songs.  Sony BMG Music Entertainment  v. Tenenbaum, Case No. 12-2146 (1st Cir., June 25, 2013) (Howard, J.). For over eight years, Tenenbaum ignored the warnings of …

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International Trade Commission Addresses Use of Standard-Essential Patents in Section 337 Investigations

The International Trade Commission (ITC) addressed for the first time the issue of whether infringement of a patent that has previously been declared “standard-essential” may form the basis for either a limited exclusion order or cease-and-desist order under a § 337, ruling that nothing in the ITC’s enabling statute prevents issuing an exclusion order, even …

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Design Patent Basics

Design patents are often a forgotten form of intellectual property despite the fact that they have been available to inventors and designers for over 150 years.  A design patent protects a new and original ornamental design of a useful product.  For example, a design patent can protect the shape of a bottle or the pattern …

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Brain Spray and the Law

Now that we can capture and use the signals emitted by human brains, we should consider whether brain signals are public property. If your face and voice become available to the public through use, is the same true for your thoughts, when they can be read by others? Several recent news items have illustrated the …

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