Google Cleared of Java Copyright Infringement: In First Ruling on Copyrightability of APIs, CA Court Finds That Functional Java API Code Is a “Method of Operation” Not Protected By Copyright Law Continue reading
By Daniel J. Klein
Google’s AdWords program is no stranger to legal controversy, having been the subject of several trademark infringement lawsuits in the past. Continue reading
On April 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit handed down its decision in Rosetta Stone Ltd. v. Google Inc. At issue in the appeal was whether Google’s sale of “Rosetta Stone” keywords for use in Google’s AdWords advertisements constituted primary (direct) or secondary (contributory/vicarious) trademark infringement or diluted Rosetta Stone’s trademarks. Continue reading
The recent case of Urbont v. Sony Music Entertainment, 11 Civ. 4516 (S.D.N.Y. March 27, 2012), highlights the disagreement among some federal courts as to when the three-year statute of limitations for copyright infringement claims begins its countdown. Directly at issue is whether the clock starts ticking when the infringement starts (the “injury rule”), or when the plaintiff discovers the infringement (the “discovery rule”). Continue reading
By Eleanor M. Lackman & Jennette Wiser
The newest trend in social media, with over 10 million members and drawing 11.7 million viewers each month according to comScore, is the virtual scrapbooking site Pinterest. Pinterest allows members to upload their favorite images from the Internet or their computers and share them immediately with other members. Continue reading
On February 23, 2012, the White House released Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy (the “Framework”). The Framework is meant to improve consumers’ privacy protections without stifling the sort of innovation and economic growth that companies seek via the digital space. At its core, the Framework consists of four overarching elements: (i) the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights; (ii) multi-stakeholder processes to develop enforceable codes of conduct; (iii) post-development enforcement by the FTC; and (iv) promoting international interoperability. As the Framework cannot itself be used as a basis for holding those who violate its principles accountable — there is no law stating that companies are required to adopt these policies. The developments in the coming months of enforceable codes of conduct and the adoption of such codes by companies will be especially telling of the Framework’s effectiveness.
In a new turn in the Google Books case we have been following, Google filed its responses on February 17, 2012 to the American Society of Media Photographers’ (ASMP) and the Authors Guild’s oppositions to Google’s motions to dismiss ASMP and the Authors Guild for lack of standing. Google took issue with the Plaintiffs’ assertions. Continue reading
Update: In an update to the below, on Thursday, April 5, 2012, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals revived and remanded the case to a lower court, instructing the district judge to determine if YouTube had knowledge or awareness of specific infringing material and whether it willfully blinded itself to that specific knowledge. Please visit this site for an analysis of this news shortly.
In the ongoing Viacom v. YouTube lawsuit, the case is now on appeal before the Second Circuit. Continue reading
The Topps Company recently released a set of “American Heroes” trading cards which include well-known politicians, actors, athletes, scientists and events. Famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin attempted to block the release of certain cards believing the cards improperly incorporate his name, likeness and image in a commercial manner. The cards in question include the famous “Visor Shot” image of Aldrin on the outside of the cardboard box packaging, a mission card, and a “signature cut” card which contains original signatures taken from other documents. Continue reading
The new .xxx top-level domain (TLD), designed to cater to the online adult entertainment community, is now available for registrations. But brand owners with registered trademarks outside that industry have a limited opportunity to defensively block registrations before the operator of a pornographic website claims BRAND.xxx – as long as the brand owner acts before the blocking period closes on October 28, 2011. After that date, trademark blocks will no longer be available. Continue reading