Posts Tagged: "copyright registration"

Supreme Court to Resolve Copyright Registration Circuit Split

On Thursday, June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that should resolve the long-standing question of whether a copyright plaintiff must have a registration in hand when filing suit or, instead, can merely have an application pending. The case is Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, 17-571… The Solicitor General filed a brief in favor of the court taking the case. That brief urges the high court to adopt the “registration” approach based on the plain language of the statute.

Seinfeld Moves to Dismiss Copyright Claims over ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’

In early February, a copyright complaint was filed in the Southern District of New York against comedian Jerry Seinfeld and a series of companies involved with the production and distribution of the web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The plaintiff, director Christian Charles, claims that he created the proof-of-concept and pilot episode upon which the web series is based and that he has been shut out from the production, profits and royalties in violation of his copyright.

Leveraging copyright protection for design aspects of useful products

Instead of using claims of trademark infringement and more expensive design patent infringement (if a design patent is even obtained), one can expect manufacturers of useful articles such as apparel manufacturers and designers to rely more often upon copyright to enforce their rights against knock-offs, and to seek more copyright registrations for design features on useful articles.

The Most Famous Song in the World Set Free: Impacts of the Happy Birthday to You Settlement

On June 30th, Judge George King of the Central District of California entered the Final Order and Judgment in the matter of Good Morning to You Productions Corp. et al. v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. – the “Happy Birthday” class action. Only the amount of attorneys’ fees to be awarded to the plaintiffs’ attorneys remains, and must be decided for many of the settlement terms to become effective. Nonetheless, it is not too early to consider what, if any, effects this case will have on the field of intellectual property.

NYIPLA Proposes Supreme Court Adopt a New Test for Copyright Protection in Cheerleader Uniform Case

This case concerns Star Athletica’s alleged infringement of Varsity Brands’ purported copyrights in the design of certain cheerleading uniforms. Under the Copyright Act, because clothing possesses an intrinsic utilitarian function (covering the body, providing warmth and protection from the elements, etc.), clothing designs historically have not been protected by copyright unless the claimed design is physically or conceptually separable from the garment’s utilitarian features. The district court found in favor of defendant Star Athletica, concluding that the design elements in Varsity Brands’ cheerleading uniforms were not separable from the uniform’s function. The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed, and in doing so, devised a new test for assessing the copyrightability of a design of a useful article.

Target, Walmart Win Copyright Litigation Over Zebra Pattern

Meridian Textiles filed a copyright claim against Topson Downs, Target and Wal-Mart (collectively called Defendant in court documents), claimed the used fabric designs that are solely theirs. The claim was related to 4 separate fabric designs: a zebra stripe pattern, a burnout pattern, an animal print pattern and a lace design. United States District Court of the Central District of California Judge Gary Klausner said that the zebra print pattern in question is not entitled to protection under copyright because the pattern reflects animal stripes that are found in nature and not a man-made pattern, and therefore ordered the U.S. Copyright Office to invalidate Meridian’s registration on the pattern.

How to Copyright One or More Photographs

Recently I enrolled in a basic photography class and I am loving it! Of course, I didn’t have anywhere to go but up. Still, my photographs are improving and I am looking for a new camera. So it is with this in mind that I thought I would take a moment to write about how to copyright photographs. A photograph is considered a work of visual art, which is encompassed by category #5 — “pictorial, graphic and sculptural works.” Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works include both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art.