Category Archives: Intellectual Property

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Regulatory Changes Affecting All “Service Providers” – 12/31/17 Deadline

The U.S. Copyright Office has imposed new requirements on service providers in order to maintain safe harbor protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).  Service providers who don’t meet these requirements will lose the safe harbor protections afforded by the DMCA.  The deadline to comply with these requirements is December 31, 2017. DMCA and … Continue Reading

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y for the Fashion Industry: SCOTUS Establishes Uniform Test for Protection of Artistic Works Applied to Apparel

The overall design (such as the shape and cut) of a garment, bag or shoe is not protectable under current U.S. Copyright law because such items are considered “useful articles.” However, Section 101 of the Copyright Act provides protection for the “pictorial, graphic or sculptural features [of a useful article] that can be identified separately … Continue Reading

New Lawsuit Highlights Risks of Using User-Generated Content

In 2014, Anheuser-Busch ran a contest on Facebook in which consumers were invited to submit photos of themselves “acting natural.” The contest rules stated that entrants could only submit their original works, and that the photos could not infringe anyone else’s copyrights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other rights. Moreover, the rules stated that entrants … Continue Reading

Don’t Lose Your DMCA Safe Harbor Protection

If your website allows users to post content, you’re probably already familiar with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Among other things, the DMCA provides online service providers a “safe harbor” from potential liability arising from publishing content that infringes a third party’s copyrights, if that content was posted by another person. In order to take … Continue Reading

Patent Troll Sues FTC for Accusing it of Being a Patent Troll?

Yesterday, a suspected “patent troll” filed suit in Texas federal court against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that the FTC unlawfully interfered with its constitutional right to identify and seek redress for patent infringement. Just last month, the FTC sent MPHJ Technology Investments LLC (MPHJ) a draft complaint accusing the company of engaging in … Continue Reading

Facebook Agrees to Pay $10 Million to Settle Right of Publicity Suit

Facebook has agreed to pay $10 million and make various changes to its terms in order to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company’s Sponsored Stories violates members’ rights of publicity. With Sponsored Stories, when a Facebook member "likes" a company, checks-in at one of its stores, or performs certain other actions, that member’s profile … Continue Reading

Obama Campaign Sues Company for Trademark Infringement

Last week, President Obama’s campaign committee filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a company for allegedly using the campaign’s trademarked “Rising Sun” logo without permission. According to the complaint, the company is “using the Rising Sun Trademarks on merchandise in a deliberate and willful attempt to draw on the goodwill and commercial magnetism of the … Continue Reading
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