• 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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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....

    Read more →

    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)....

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    A Good Opinion for Copyright Applicants

    by  • January 2, 2018 • 0 Comments

    “Rappers are skilled in poetry and rhythm—not necessarily in proper copyright registration procedures.” With that comment, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reverses a decision from the District Court for the Southern District of Florida that invalidated three copyright registrations for the same work and consequently dismissing the lawsuit. You can read...

    Read more →

    A Thing of Beauty

    by  • November 13, 2017 • 0 Comments

    I don’t think I have ever been so excited about an exhibit in a case before. It’s one that makes the heart of a person who writes about trademark ownership sing. Just look at it: Yes, it is a pawn ticket. I have looked at many documents claiming to be a trademark assignment and...

    Read more →