Cheerleaders and Laches

Monday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear cases on patent laches, SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag et al. v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC et al., and copyright protection for clothing, Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. In SCA Hygiene, the Supreme Court will review the Federal Circuit’s decision that laches remains a viable defense in patent cases, despite the Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. In Petrella, the Supreme Court held that laches cannot bar copyright claims that accrued within the three years from commencement of suit, except in extraordinary cases for equitable relief.  In   Read More »

Posted in Copyright Litigation, IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation | Tagged , , ,

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Ninth Circuit: Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Sending DMCA Takedown Notices

The Ninth Circuit held last week in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. (the “dancing baby” case) that a copyright holder must consider fair use before sending a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Without first considering fair use, the copyright holder cannot have formed the required subjective good faith belief that the use was infringing. Stephanie Lenz and the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued Universal Music Group in 2007 after Universal sent Lenz a takedown notice for a 29-second video she posted to YouTube of her son dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” Lenz claimed the video was   Read More »

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Dish’s PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop Unlikely to Infringe Fox’s Copyrights

Dish Network offers its customers the “Hopper”—a set-top box that combines video on demand (VOD) and digital video recorder (DVR) functionality.  The Hopper uses “PrimeTime Anytime” and “AutoHop” to automatically record TV shows and skip commercials in those shows.  Fox sued Dish, claiming these services infringed Fox’s copyrights, and moved for a preliminary injunction.  The Central District of California denied the injunction, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, ruling Fox was unlikely to succeed in proving copyright infringement. PrimeTime Anytime automatically records primetime TV shows on the four major broadcasting networks once a user activates the service so the user can   Read More »

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The Ninth Circuit Clarifies Scope of DMCA Safe-Harbor Provision

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has clarified the scope and nature of liability for online service providers when users upload infringing content to services such as media hosting sites.  The Ninth Circuit’s March 14, 2013 decision vacated and replaced the court’s prior decision in UMG Recordings v. Shelter Capital Partners, 667 F.3d 1022 (2012) (“Veoh 1”), which it had withdrawn when the Second Circuit issued its opinion in a case brought by media giant Viacom against YouTube that presented similar issues.  Viacom Int’l v. YouTube, 676 F.3d 19 (2012) (“YouTube”).  The court’s new decision (“Veoh 2”) removes potential inconsistencies   Read More »

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Supreme Court Rejects Challenges to Congressional Authority to Modify Public Domain

The United Supreme Court on January 18, 2012 in Golan v. Holder rejected a challenge to Congress’ authority to modify the copyright status of certain foreign works previously in the public domain.  Writing for the Court, Justice Ginsburg rejected petitioners’ assertion that once a work has entered the public domain it must forever remain there, and that Congress had no power to alter the public domain status of a work. In 1994, Congress gave works enjoying copyright protection outside of the United States the same full term of protection as U.S. works by fully implementing the Berne Convention for the   Read More »

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