Category: Copyright

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Lower Courts and Determines That International Copyright Exhaustion is Now the Rule 0

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Lower Courts and Determines That International Copyright Exhaustion is Now the Rule

Online resellers, used book stores, art galleries, and museums, among others, apparently can now breathe a sigh of relief and continue to display and resell goods originally sold or manufactured outside of the U.S., without the specter of a potential copyright infringement action looming on the horizon. Last week, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court, on a 6-3 vote, held that the “first sale” doctrine applies to copies of a copyright-protected work lawfully made abroad. Under copyright law, the “first sale” doctrine states that “the owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title . . . is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord.” 17 U.S.C. § 109(a).

Freelancer of “Live to Ride” Logo and Harley-Davidson Settle Their Dispute 0

Freelancer of “Live to Ride” Logo and Harley-Davidson Settle Their Dispute

Closing the loop on our previous report, freelance commercial artist Wayne W. Peterson and the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company have reached a confidential settlement in their copyright spat. Peterson had alleged that the iconic motorcycle maker stole his copyrighted “Live to Ride” logo, created in 1985 and the “Harley-Davidson University” logo, created in 1991.

The Copyright Office Expands DMCA Exemptions to Broaden the Use of Technological Controls 0

The Copyright Office Expands DMCA Exemptions to Broaden the Use of Technological Controls

Last week, the U.S. Copyright Office published new exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), making circumvention of certain technological measures for restricting access to copyrighted works legally acceptable. The exemptions took effect on October 28, 2012, and will last until the end of 2015.

Protecting Fashion Designs: The Innovative Design Protection Act of 2012 0

Protecting Fashion Designs: The Innovative Design Protection Act of 2012

Just as design patents for smart phones and yoga pants are recently making headlines, the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill, S. 3523, entitled the Innovative Design Protection Act of 2012, which would extend copyright-like protection to fashion designs (the “Act”). The protection of the proposed Act would extend to “fashion design[s],” defined as the appearance as a whole of an article of apparel including men’s, women’s or children’s clothing, including undergarments, outer wear, gloves, footwear, headgear, handbags, purses, wallets, tote bags, belts and eyeglass frames. Given that many other countries already have laws that provide design protection for fashion design, the passage of the Act has the potential to help encourage and sustain the U.S. fashion industry.

Freelancer Survives “Live to Ride” Logo Dispute with Harley-Davidson — For Now 0

Freelancer Survives “Live to Ride” Logo Dispute with Harley-Davidson — For Now

A pending action in the Eastern District of Wisconsin serves as a reminder of the need for clarity and specificity in any IP-related deal, and in this case, in a matter involving copyright. Wayne W. Peterson is a freelance commercial artist who produced various commissioned works for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company from the mid-1970s through the mid-2000s. Two of Peterson’s works, the “Live to Ride” logo, created in 1985 and the “Harley-Davidson University” logo, created in 1991, are the subject of Peterson’s Complaint.

IPXI: Set to Debut This Summer 0

IPXI: Set to Debut This Summer

We previously reported on the Intellectual Property Exchange International (“IPXI”), the “world’s first financial exchange focused on IP rights,” as well as its recent developments and sponsorships. The IPXI seems on course to commence operations this summer, or early fall. The article, published last week in IP Law360, provides an in depth look at this new market for monetizing IP assets, as well as some considerations for those contemplating the IPXI for their IP portfolios.

Pinterest: Potential IP Pitfalls for New Social Networking Trend 0

Pinterest: Potential IP Pitfalls for New Social Networking Trend

Pinterest, a play on words of “pin” and “interest,” is a virtual, online “pin board,” where user’s can organize and share things they find on the web. While Pinterest is attracting a loyal community of social media users, the site is also the source of some concern for those same users and owners of intellectual property. The stated Mission of Pinterest is “to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting . . . a favorite book, toy, or recipe [which] can reveal a common link between two people.

SOPA and PIPA Have Been Shelved 0

SOPA and PIPA Have Been Shelved

On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, thousands of internet companies including Google and Wikipedia protested against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) proposed by the Senate and its counterpart in the House, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). For example, Wikipedia blacked out its website while Google collected over 7 million signatures for its anti SOPA and PIPA petition. Since the high profile protests, key congressional supporters have withdrawn their support, questioning the viability of both bills.

Caveat Author: Understanding Copyrights, Revisited …. 0

Caveat Author: Understanding Copyrights, Revisited ….

We previously reviewed a copyright case involving Marvel and a comic book author’s relinquishment of any copyrights in the iconic characters Hulk, Spiderman, the X-Men and others because the works were determined to be “for hire.” Marvel Worldwide v. Kirby. In an unrelated action, Judge Forrest of the Southern District of New York recently found in favor of Marvel, in Gary Friedrich Enters., LLC v. Marvel Enters., Inc. The court ruled that the plaintiff writer, Gary Friedrich, although he indisputably conceived of the character, “Ghost Rider,” and wrote the initial comic book, had ceded all rights in the character to Marvel.

Copyrights in Works For Hire 0

Copyrights in Works For Hire

What can the Hulk, Spiderman and the X-Men teach us about copyrights? Well, artists and authors alike must understand the terms under which they are creating their works, or potentially lose any copyrights they, and their heirs, might otherwise enjoy. IP Law360 recently reported on Marvel Worldwide v. Kirby from the Southern District of New York, which underscores the importance of such understanding.