• Isn’t It the Corporate Secretary’s Job …

    by  • September 26, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Isn’t it the Corporate Secretary’s job (and in this case, the same person was also the General Counsel) to make sure that documents are signed by the right entity? In East West Bank Co. v. The Plubell Firm LLC, not once, but twice the Corporate Secretary, Douglas Krause, executed trademark maintenance documents for the...

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    Copyright Notice and Ownership

    by  • September 19, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Eminent scholar Jessica Litman has published What Notice Did, 96 B.U.L. Rev. 717 (2016), an interesting article on how copyright notice has shaped copyright ownership jurisprudence. Most interesting to me was the “head’s I win, tails you lose” nature of notice. Since 1870 an assignment had to be in writing, but publishers would name...

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    You Will Never Get a Copyright Registration Right

    by  • September 9, 2016 • 0 Comments

    I previously wrote about the licensing discussion in Palmer/Kane LLC v. Rosen Book Works LLC, but the decision also points out what is the near impossibility of successfully registering the copyright in a work so that you can actually have a lawsuit claiming it was infringed. Palmer/Kane originally alleged the infringement of 19 works,...

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    If It’s Retroactive It’s Not a “License”

    by  • September 5, 2016 • 2 Comments

    This is a big one. As I’ve written about in the past (recursive link), there is a huge upheaval in the stock photography industry over the use of photos in textbooks. In Palmer/Kane LLC v. Rosen Book Works LLC, plaintiff Palmer/Kane licensed the rights in its photos through several agencies, the relevant one here...

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    What Rights are Conveyed? We Have to Wait and See

    by  • August 30, 2016 • 0 Comments

    I asked in a prior post whether plaintiff Joseph Cooper had the right to publish his videotapes of performances of famous comedian Steve Harvey, taped at Harvey’s Texas club in 1993, based on this invoice: Click here for larger version Unfortunately we don’t know yet, because it’s most certainly a question of fact, not...

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    What Rights are Conveyed?

    by  • August 27, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Click here for larger version Can Cooper, the videographer, put his videos of now-famous comedian Steve Harvey on YouTube? This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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    And You Wonder Why Litigation Is Expensive

    by  • August 22, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Golly, the things you have to explain sometimes. Plaintiff Ubu/Elements, Inc. claimed to have purchased all of the assets of Defendant Elements Personal Care, Inc. UBU/Elements accused the defendant of continuing to use the trademark AFTER THE GAME after the purchase. The Asset Purchase Agreement said this about the trademark in dispute: If you...

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    The Contract Without End – What the Parties Did

    by  • August 18, 2016 • 2 Comments

    I previously described a situation where unhappy licensees refused to acknowledge that there was a new licensor. Bruce Kirby, Inc. was the original licensor of the defendants’ rights to build Kirby Sailboats granted in the “Builder Agreements” and then in 2008 Bruce Kirby sold his business to Global Sailing Limited (GSL). The Builder Agreements...

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    The Contract Without End

    by  • August 16, 2016 • 6 Comments

    This case relates to some kind of intellectual property, denominated in the agreement as “copyright” and “industrial design” rights, although the true nature of the rights was not examined by the court. It’s a mess of a problem, with a “solution” that turned out not to work quite as the parties planned. I’ll set...

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    The 2d Circuit Is Part Way There on Eden Toys

    by  • August 1, 2016 • 0 Comments

    I have long complained about a defense that comes up in copyright cases, originating with the Second Circuit’s Eden Toys, Inc. v. Florelee Undergarment Co. Eden Toys involved a challenge to standing based on the timing of of an exclusive license. The case has heavily-quoted language about the challenge: In this case, in which...

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