• Mutual Defensive Collateral Estoppel Too

    by  • March 21, 2018 • 0 Comments

    I have written once before about the disputing members of the band RATT. I’ll remind you again about who they are, mostly because this video makes me smile every time I watch it: WBS, Inc. claims to be the successor-in-interest to the trademark RATT, by assignment from the predecessor partnership that consisted of the...

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    Redbox Wins (for now)

    by  • February 26, 2018 • 0 Comments

    The decision in Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC was, to me, unexpected. Who would have thought that Redbox would win a case about selling codes for digital download of Disney movies? The way Disney elected to distribute the codes was key to the outcome, so I don’t know how much ripple...

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    The Second Circuit on Assigning the Right to Sue

    by  • February 19, 2018 • 1 Comment

    I’ve written in the past (recursive link) about the phenomenon of copyright infringement lawsuits brought by photographers or their agents against textbook publishers. The textbook publishers allegedly exceed the license they had for the use of stock photos, either by exceeding the number of print copies authorized or using the works outside of the...

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    A Wasting Asset

    by  • February 14, 2018 • 0 Comments

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) oversees multiple federal programs established by Congress to promote certain agricultural commodities. These programs are funded by “checkoffs” — mandatory assessments that producers and importers pay on the sale or import of the commodity. The assessments are used to pay for a range of activities, including research and...

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    An Exclusive License or Exclusive Agent?

    by  • February 12, 2018 • 2 Comments

    I previously wrote about an Oregon decision, Fathers & Daughters Nev., LLC v. Zhang. The case was dismissed because the author of the film, the plaintiff, had exclusively licensed the infringed rights to someone else, so couldn’t sue for infringement itself. This post is a separate one to address an interesting footnote in the...

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    Not Enough Ownership

    by  • January 29, 2018 • 0 Comments

    Defendant Lingfu Zhang was accused of downloading the movie Fathers & Daughters via BitTorrent. Plaintiff Fathers & Daughters Nevada, LLC was the author and registered copyright owner of the film and sued Zhang. But copyright ownership is tricky. F&D had a sales agency agreement with non-party Goldenrod Holdings and its sub-sales agent Voltage Pictures.1...

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    Battle Lines Drawn

    by  • January 22, 2018 • 0 Comments

    I previously reported on a case involving a missing patent assignment from an employee. The missing document didn’t prevent the Patent Office from issuing the patent though; the successor to the rights of the other co-inventors submitted the inventor’s employment agreement to the Patent Office and it thereafter issued the patent. However, the district...

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    Termination of a Public License

    by  • January 17, 2018 • 0 Comments

    I’ve been thinking lately about the concept of a “license.” This is a typical statement of what it is: license is not a contract; rather, a license is “permission to use a copyrighted work in a particular specified manner …” Saxelbye Architects, Inc. v. First Citizens Bank & Tr. Co., 1997 U.S. App....

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    A Circuit Split That Isn’t, At Least Not Yet

    by  • January 15, 2018 • 0 Comments

    Here is a really interesting decision in a bankruptcy case. If those words make you cringe, stop reading now because we’re going into the weeds. The question is what rights a trademark licensee has when its licensor declares bankruptcy. As a general rule, the trustee can elect to reject an e​xecutory contract under § 365(a)....

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    In the Category of Unusual “Writings”

    by  • January 4, 2018 • 2 Comments

    I don’t expect to ever see something that trumps the pawn ticket as a writing documenting a transfer (or attempted transfer) of rights. But, in the copyright realm we have a contender – an Annual Report. It’s embedded below: It says “2003 represents the first 10 months in the life of Storix as a...

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