• Breach of a Copyright License in State Court

    by  • July 30, 2018 • 0 Comments

    It’s unusual to see what looks like a copyright case in state court, particularly one that reaches the highest court. It is Associated Management Services, Inc. v. Ruff, a license case in the Supreme Court of Montana. Plaintiff Associated Management Services provides payroll and business services to its parent company Associated Employer, a non-profit...

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    Just “Slip It In Nebulously”

    by  • June 25, 2018 • 0 Comments

    When you see “slip it in” in an email about contract negotiations, it’s a good bet it’s not going to go well for the person trying to “slip it in.” Especially when their goal is to do it “nebulously.” The transaction was, to the defendant Mitel Networks, a vanilla domain name sale. However, the...

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    It’s All About the Evidence

    by  • June 4, 2018 • 1 Comment

    One of the interesting things about TTAB proceedings is that there is no live testimony before the people who will decide the case, the judges. That’s generally a good thing; it means the proceeding is less expensive and time-consuming. Trial testimony is done like a deposition, with just the parties and a court reporter,...

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    You Will Be There – MTB-XIV

    by  • May 16, 2018 • 0 Comments

    Who could resist the lure of bowling and billiards? Surely I can’t, which is why on Tuesday, May 22, you’ll find me at the above locale, Garage Billiards, 1130 Broadway, in Seattle. After your marathon day of fifteen minute meetings and sterno-warmed chicken and penne eaten during your committee meeting, join the fabulous collection...

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    Were the Patent Rights Assigned?

    by  • May 4, 2018 • 2 Comments

    Defendant J2 Cloud Services (JFAX) hired plaintiff Greg James to write some software. Unbeknownst to James, JFAX filed a patent on the software. Many years later, James sued JFAX for correction of inventorship. JFAX argued that James didn’t have standing for correction of inventorship because he had assigned his patent rights to JFAX. The...

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    The Scope of the License

    by  • May 1, 2018 • 0 Comments

    The opinion is sparse on the facts and the law, so we have to do some interpretation. But it’s worth some thought about how the court construed the scope of an implied copyright license. Defendant Kushner wrote software for plaintiff Vickerman Co. Their relationship ended, Vickerman Co. sued Kushner (the court doesn’t say why,...

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    Get the Agreement Signed

    by  • April 30, 2018 • 0 Comments

    This is a remarkable story. It’s a counter-intuitive result, not wrong, but so surprising. I present: THE VILLAGE PEOPLE!! (Go ahead, full screen. You know you want to.) There is no dispute that the plaintiff in this case, Can’t Stop Productions, Inc., created the Village People. The front man in the video, the police...

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    Condition or Covenant? The Answer

    by  • April 12, 2018 • 2 Comments

    I posed the question whether an overrun in a book printing was a breach of the copyright license granted for the use of photos in the book or just a breach of a covenant of the agreement. The court described the issue this way: According to Scholastic, “Corbis did not treat ongoing, high-volume...

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    Condition or Covenant? A Quiz

    by  • April 9, 2018 • 1 Comment

    When parties enter into an agreement that includes a copyright license, and there is thereafter a failure to comply with one of the terms in the agreement, a court will have to decide whether it is a failure to meet a condition precedent to the license, in which case the accused use is not...

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    “Not So Fast” Coda

    by  • March 26, 2018 • 0 Comments

    I generally write about intangible property, but I hope you’ll forgive me if I write about one piece of tangible property. Many years ago I wrote about a lawsuit over ownership of the intellectual property rights in the car “Eleanor” from the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” and in “Remake Eleanor” from the 2000...

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    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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