April 14, 2014 7:56 PM | Posted by Enriquez, E. Martin | Permalink

To advance U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives, the U.S. maintains laws and regulations that impose economic sanctions against certain countries, individuals, and entities (the "U.S. Sanctions Program").  31 C.F.R. § 501 et seq.  The Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) at the Department of the Treasury manages the U.S. Sanctions Program.  The U.S. Sanctions Program prohibits U.S. nationals and U.S. companies from doing business in embargoed or sanctioned countries and from doing business with individuals or entities subject to U.S. sanctions laws and regulations.  Penalties for violating the U.S. Sanctions Program include civil and criminal fines, imprisonment, and the loss of tax credits or export privileges. 

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September 10, 2013 1:45 PM | Posted by Horne, Alexandra | Permalink
On May 31, 2013, the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana ruled in favor of Plaintiffs Coach, Inc. and Coach Services, Inc. ("Coach") and against Defendants The Treasure Box, Heather Hiatt and Michael Hiatt on claims of trademark infringement and counterfeiting... read more
September 4, 2013 1:20 PM | Posted by Garrison, Sean | Permalink

Frequently, parties enter into IP license agreements in which the licensor grants a license or other rights to a bundle of its intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, know-how, etc.) pertaining to a particular product or technology.  In many instances, these agreements include both patents and non-patent IP - often referred to as “hybrid” agreements.  In considering the royalties to be charged in hybrid agreements, licensors must be careful to distinguish royalty payments attributable to any licensed patents from payments for the rights to the non-patent IP.  Failing to do so can lead to an unexpected cut-off of the royalty revenue stream.  Stephen Kimble learned the hard way.

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July 30, 2013 12:29 PM | Posted by Updegraff, Samantha A. | Permalink

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 on the bottom of a shoe or the ornamental design of a unique-looking bird house.  Design patents can be incredibly valuable to a company since they protect “iconic” designs ranging from Apple’s iPhone graphics to the original glass Coca-Cola bottle.

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June 25, 2013 6:39 PM | Posted by Williams, Nikkya | Permalink
How many times have you sung “Happy Birthday” in your life?  Or heard it sung?   Now, have you ever wondered whether you (or the hundreds of millions of other people who sing the song) are infringing someone’s copyright in the song?  I’m hoping your answer (assuming you’re the average American) is “No!“  However, that question is at the center of a new lawsuit and proposed class action filed last week in the Southern District of New York. read more
April 27, 2012 4:31 PM | Posted by Willimas, Nikkya | Permalink

Let me first say that I love football and I went to Stanford.  But not when Stanford had good football teams, no, no.  I went to Stanford when we were lucky to win 4 games in the season .  So the recent, phenomenal success of Cardinal football is something I treasure deeply and hold onto with everything I have.  I tell you this so as to acknowledge any bias that may creep into the following.



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January 25, 2012 4:04 PM | Posted by Edwards, Nathaniel | Permalink

As a follow-up to my colleague Linda Norcross’ excellent blog piece last week, I thought I would provide our blog readers with another entertaining read on the controversial “aesthetic functionality” doctrine of trademark law.  Last February, the Ninth Circuit added to the confusing annals of aesthetic functionality doctrine by denying trademark protection to the iconic design displayed below.


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January 11, 2012 11:08 AM | Posted by Williams, Nikkya | Permalink
I know it seems like I keep harping on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's “safe harbor” provision, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c), but the DMCA safe harbor is beneficial for both copyright owners and service providers, yet appears to be underutilized by both. The Ninth Circuit recently decided a copyright case between Universal Music Group (UMG), the recording company and music publisher, and Veoh Networks, which operates a video-sharing website that allows users to upload and share videos. The opinion largely focused on the meaning of the DMCA safe harbor provisions and provides guidance for copyright owners and service providers in the Ninth Circuit. read more
April 5, 2011 6:06 PM | Posted by Williams, Nikkya | Permalink
As I posited a few weeks ago, the major Hollywood studios have sued start-up Zediva for copyright infringement. Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal filed suit in the Central District of California yesterday against WTV Systems, Inc., WTV Systems, LLC and Venkatesh Srinivasan, the founder and CEO of Zediva. You can find a copy of the filed complaint at read more
March 17, 2011 12:25 PM | Posted by Williams, Nikkya | Permalink
Zediva, the newest kid on the block in online movie viewing, went live this week after a year in beta with their concept for letting the public watch new release DVDs online without the wait time imposed by movie distributors on competitors like Netflix and Amazon. Their concept is almost comically common-sense simple: buy DVDs on the day they become available at retail and use DVD players to play them, but send the picture and audio over the Internet to whomever rented the movie. read more
January 26, 2011 3:11 PM | Posted by Norcross, Linda M. | Permalink
Innovation is a common buzzword these days, as companies search for new and unique ways to distinguish themselves and even turn a profit. How do companies large and small stand out among their competitors in today’s economy? How does a company turn an idea into a billion dollar intellectual asset, which ultimately strengthens its balance sheet and/or attractiveness to potential investors or purchasers? One way is to better understand how to build a solid brand identity that stands out and outlasts the others. When brand clearance and management is an afterthought that follows instead of intersects with the creative process, companies fail to take full advantage of the value of that brand. Companies with an understanding and appreciation for all of the factors that go into building an effective, competitive branding campaign will reap the benefits of a brand identity that enjoys strength, longevity, a more significant impact on the marketplace, and a far greater return on the initial investment. read more
December 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Posted by Garrison, Sean | Permalink

On December 13, 2010, an equally divided U.S. Supreme Court let stand the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Omega SA that original, copyrighted works legitimately purchased overseas cannot be imported into the United States and re-sold here under the first sale doctrine of U.S. Copyright law.

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October 19, 2010 7:52 PM | Posted by Olafson, Shane | Permalink
Intellectual property accounts for the majority of all property owned by modern corporations. Because of its value, liability for alleged infringement is a major risk facing businesses today. Companies of all sizes may encounter lawsuits for a variety of intellectual property disputes, including patent infringement, trademark or trade dress infringement, copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and privacy violations, just to name a few. read more
September 21, 2010 6:00 PM | Posted by Fountain, Jonathan | Permalink

Websites beware.  Once a mighty empire, the newspaper industry -- an industry that has blamed the Internet for more than a decade’s worth of declining readership and advertising revenues -- is striking back.  If you own a website and a newspaper article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal (the “Review Journal”) has been posted on your website then you are in the crosshairs and are at risk of being sued for copyright infringement.  Righthaven LLC (“Righthaven”), a Las Vegas-based startup, wants your money and it will take you to federal court to get it.  “Grubstaked” by Stephens Media LLC, the publisher of the Review-Journal, Righthaven is making big business out of suing websites whose users have posted copies of Review Journal articles in website discussion threads, forums, and blogs.  Righthaven has sued website owners and operators located throughout the United States and Canada for violating U.S. copyright laws. 

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September 7, 2010 5:51 PM | Posted by Kouchoukos, Robert B. | Permalink

On August 6, 2010, New York Senator Charles Schumer introduced a new bill entitled the “Innovative Design Protection and Privacy Prevention Act” ("IDPPA") which would amend the U.S. Copyright Act to grant certain protections to new and original fashion designs.   While U.S. design patent and trade dress laws currently offer limited protections, the passage of the IDPPA would bring U.S. laws in line with those in the European Union, Japan and other foreign fashion markets that have long extended broader legal protections to unique and novel fashion designs.

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July 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Posted by Williams, Nikkya | Permalink

Let’s say you have a website.  And on your website, you allow third-party users to post content, say, their home videos or fan fiction or random comments about whatever it is your website is about.  So one day, you’re sitting around managing your website (like you do) when you get served with court papers; you’ve just been sued for copyright infringement!  But what the copyright owner is suing you for is a copy that one of your third-party users posted to your website, not something that you posted to your website.  Are you left holding the bag or can you get out of this lawsuit?

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July 21, 2010 5:55 PM | Posted by Bayton, Emily | Permalink
Apple’s slogan - There’s An App for That™ - is catchy and seemingly true.  Apple markets and sells applications for its iPhone product that cover almost anything a consumer could want . . . applications for cooks, students, moms and dads…applications for the outdoors, work, music, managing money, traveling and many more.  In a speech at the 2010 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Steve Jobs stated that Apple passed 5 billion total applications downloaded, with over $1 billion paid to application developers - these are staggering numbers.  But with the good, comes the bad... read more
April 26, 2010 4:51 PM | Posted by Edwards, Nathaniel | Permalink

The United States Supreme Court recently said it would consider whether Costco Wholesale Corp.’s resale of Omega SA watches, legally purchased by Costco in foreign countries, constitutes copyright infringement.  Omega filed suit after Costco imported Omega watches into the United States and sold 43 of them in California in 2004.  The Court’s decision will hinge on whether copyright law’s “first-sale doctrine” applies to sales outside of the United States.

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March 16, 2010 6:30 PM | Posted by Fountain, Jonathan | Permalink
Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act of 1976 (the "Copyright Act”) states, in part, the following: “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title.” 17 U.S.C. § 411(a). read more
February 9, 2010 11:07 AM | Posted by Kouchoukos, Robert | Permalink
After several years of waging an anti-piracy litigation campaign against the unauthorized downloading and file sharing of recorded music, the recording industry may soon find itself playing defense as legal notices served on record labels by recording artists asserting termination of the labels’ sound recording copyrights start to take effect on January 1, 2013. read more