IP/Internet Transactions

Shifting Injunction Standards in Copyright, Trademark Cases

Note: This blog is cross-posted from Law360.com with permission from Portfolio Media, Inc.

For decades, obtaining an injunction in a copyright or trademark case was simple: Show success on the merits (or likely success on the merits, at the preliminary injunction stage), and injunctive relief was usually automatically yours. Then, in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a patent case called eBay Inc. v. MercExchange LLC, which upended the standard for obtaining injunctive relief in patent cases. Around 2010, appellate courts began to apply eBay to copyright cases; the past few months have seen the first instances of appellate courts’ application of eBay to cases under the Lanham Act.

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CDAS Partner Nancy Wolff’s Webinar Available Online

Recently, CDAS Partner Nancy Wolff hosted a webinar for the Digital Media Licensing Association which answered common questions about when you need releases when using visual images. The webinar is now available online for free, and is a useful resource for anyone publishing or displaying still or motion images and wondering whether permissions are needed from the subjects or property owners depicted in the content. The webinar footage can be found here.

Toto Can’t “Hold the Line”: Sony Prevails in Digital Royalty Dispute with Classic Rockers

Toto, Inc. v. Sony Music Entertainment, No. 12-cv-1434 (RJS) (S.D.N.Y. 2014)

A New York federal judge recently ruled in favor of Sony Music Entertainment (“SME”) in the latest dispute over the proper characterization of artist royalties on digital music sales, dismissing a breach of contract claim brought by rock group Toto (best known for the hits “Africa” and “Rosanna”). Ever since the Ninth Circuit’s 2010 decision in favor of Eminem’s former production company in FBT Productions LLC v. Aftermath Records, artists such as Toto – whose recording contracts predated digital music sales – have taken to the courts arguing that they were underpaid on digital record royalties. Toto’s claims, like FBT’s and many other plaintiffs’ claims, focus on whether, under recording contracts, digital purchases are “sales” as opposed to higher-paying “licenses” or “leases.” Continue reading

Getting a Handle on the New Generic Top-Level Domains: Strategies for Brand Protection in the Era of New gTLDs

After years of intense discussion and debate, the new generic top-level domain names (known as gTLDs) are here.  And they have been popular:  when .club went live on May 7, 2014, over 32,000 domain names ending in .club sold in the first 24 hours, and nearly 30,000 more were sold over the next three weeks.

Whether these new names will have any staying power remains to be seen, but what is clear is that the new gTLDs can create new challenges for brand owners, and new solutions for cybersquatting problems are being put to the test.  This post will provide an overview and update on the new gTLDs and discuss ways in which brand owners can approach and manage rights enforcement as new domains continue to roll out. Continue reading

CDAS Partner Eleanor M. Lackman Ranked as Leading Lawyer in Chambers 2014 USA Guide

Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP is pleased to announce that partner Eleanor M. Lackman was recognized by the prestigious and client-focused Chambers as among just 41 New York lawyers ranked as a “Leading Individual” in the field of “Intellectual Property: Trade Mark and Copyright” in the 2014 edition of Chambers’ Leading Lawyers for Business guide. Continue reading

How And Why Aereo Got To The Supreme Court

Note: This blog is cross-posted from Law360.com with permission from Portfolio Media, Inc.

This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that could have significant impacts on several segments of the television industry. While it may seem unusual that a dispute centered on dime-sized antennas would capture the attention of the high court, the case captioned American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Aereo Inc., on certiorari from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, sits in the context of a half-dozen pending litigations across the country; it also tests both the boundaries of a Second Circuit decision that the court refused to hear five years ago, and the language that Congress drafted over 35 years ago. Continue reading

“Focus on IP Law: A Conversation with Eleanor M. Lackman, Mary E. Rasenberger, & Nancy Wolff.”

More Than a Registrar: “Parked Pages” Program Leads Court to Deny Domain Name Registrar GoDaddy.com Safe Harbor Protection from Claims under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)

On June 21, 2013, a Central District of California court refused to extend ACPA safe harbor protection to popular domain name registrar GoDaddy.com, finding that it intended to profit from the registration and maintenance of various domain names that encompassed plaintiff Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ OSCAR, OSCARS, OSCAR NIGHT, ACADEMY AWARD and ACADEMY AWARDS registered trademarks. Continue reading

Southern District Not Buying Digital Music Marketplace

“Reseller” ReDigi Rebuffed by New York Judge

Founding executive editor of Wired Magazine Kevin Kelly once observed that, at its core, the Internet is the world’s largest copying machine and that the digital economy has been built on a stream of copies. Unfortunately for the hopes of digital music reseller ReDigi, Judge Sullivan of New York’s Southern District agreed, granting Capitol Records’ motion for summary judgment late last month. Continue reading