Author - Lorie Lambert

1
Copyright Dispute Over Andy Warhol’s Portraits of Prince Heading to U.S. Supreme Court
2
The Kremlin’s Intellectual Property Cold War: Legalizing Patent Theft with Decree 299
3
Copyright Directive: Italy’s Transposition is Not So Creative and Original
4
Guide: How to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights in China
5
State AGs Join the Push to Restore FTC Powers to Obtain Monetary Relief
6
Unicolours v. H&M: Copyright Registration Validity
7
A Fair Use Tale, or All’s Well That Ends: the U.S. Supreme Court Holds Google’s Use of Java Code to Be a Fair Use under U.S. Copyright Law
8
The NFT Explosion – What Lawyers Need to Know
9
“Lettuce Turnip the Beet” Pun on T-Shirts Not Trademark Use, Ninth Circuit Affirms
10
Are Pre-Launch Statements Now Within the Range of the National Advertising Division?

Copyright Dispute Over Andy Warhol’s Portraits of Prince Heading to U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court will review the standard for a “transformative” work as “fair use” under the Copyright Act.   Specifically, whether a second work of art is “transformative” when it conveys a different meaning or message from its source material, or not where it recognizably derives from and retains the essential elements of its source material.

The Court agreed to review the Second Circuit’s decision that Andy Warhol’s Prince Series portraits of the musician Prince did not make fair use of celebrity photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s photograph of Prince.  Andy Warhol Found. for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith, No. 21-869 (petition granted Mar. 28, 2022).   

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The Kremlin’s Intellectual Property Cold War: Legalizing Patent Theft with Decree 299

Russia’s bold response to Western economic sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine now includes what amounts to legalizing patent theft against “unfriendly countries.” On March 5, 2022, the Kremlin issued Decree 299, which states that Russian companies and individuals can use inventions, utility models and industrial designs without owner permission or compensation, if the patent hails from a list of “unfriendly countries.”1 Specifically, the decree sets compensation for patent infringement at “0%” if the patent holder is a citizen of, is registered in, or has a primary place of business or profit in any of the 48 countries Russia previously designated as “unfriendly.”2 Unsurprisingly, the list includes the United States, Great Britain, European Union members, Australia, and other critics of Russia’s actions against Ukraine.

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Copyright Directive: Italy’s Transposition is Not So Creative and Original

Italian transposition of the Copyright Directive (as defined below) introduces some interesting additions within the free uses regulation, but it might not represent the relevant breakthrough for the press industry that its minor players, as well as the EU legislator, wished for.

BACKGROUND

On 26 March 2019, the European Parliament approved EU Directive 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019, on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market (the Copyright Directive), which member states were expected to transpose by June 2021 at the latest. Whilst some member states complied with the deadline, Italy only issued its transposition through Legislative Decree 177/2021 on 12 December 2021 (the Legislative Decree) and amended the existing Law No. 633/1941 on copyright and related rights (the Italian Copyright Law).

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Guide: How to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights in China

This step-by-step guide sets out the actions to be taken upon discovering an infringement of an intellectual property right (IPR) in the People’s Republic of China (China). The IPRs addressed in this guide include copyright, trademark, patent, and unfair competition (including counterfeiting).

View the full article here

State AGs Join the Push to Restore FTC Powers to Obtain Monetary Relief

On June 28, 2021, the Attorneys General from New York and Colorado co-authored a letter to congressional leaders supporting the restoration of the Federal Trade Commission’s right to seek equitable relief, an affirmation urgently sought by the pending Consumer Protection and Recovery Act (H.R. 2668).  Twenty-eight attorneys general joined en masse to support the passage of H.R. 2668, which was introduced in April 2021 by Representative Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) to “to affirmatively confirm the authority of the Federal Trade Commission to seek permanent injunctions and other equitable relief for violations of any provision of law enforced by the Commission.”

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Unicolours v. H&M: Copyright Registration Validity

On June 1, 2021, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the ongoing case of Unicolors v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P., No. 20-915.  With a nearly $1 million copyright verdict on the line, pattern manufacturer Unicolors, Inc.’s (“Unicolors”) fate is now at the Supreme Court to decide whether courts should refer copyright registration validity challenges to the Copyright Office where there is a known misrepresentation in the registration, but no evidence of intent to defraud.

 A copyright registration certificate is not valid if obtained by offering false information and that information, if known, would have resulted in the registration being denied. Under 17 U.S.C. §411(b)(2), where knowingly inaccurate information is included in an application for copyright registration, “the court shall request the Register of Copyrights to advise the court whether the inaccurate information if known, would have caused the Register of Copyrights to refuse the registration.” 

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A Fair Use Tale, or All’s Well That Ends: the U.S. Supreme Court Holds Google’s Use of Java Code to Be a Fair Use under U.S. Copyright Law

By: Mark H. WittowPaul J. BrueneTrevor M. Gates

On 5 April 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a major copyright dispute that had wound through the federal courts for over a decade. In a 6-2 decision written by Justice Breyer, the Supreme Court held that Google’s copying of roughly 11,500 lines of declaring Java code for Google’s mobile Android platform was a fair use as a matter of law and thus not copyright infringement. The decision addresses the application of copyright law to software and updates and extends the Supreme Court’s copyright fair use jurisprudence. Read our recent client alert here.

The NFT Explosion – What Lawyers Need to Know

First there were CryptoKitties. Then came Digital art, CryptoPunks and NBA tokens. But when Beeple’s digital art piece sold at Christie’s for $69 million, the mania truly  began.  And as with any wave of media mania, also came the groundswell of negative media and hand-wringing about NFTs.   Of course, NFTs are not all evil nor are they a panacea for artists and musicians. If properly issued and positioned, they can provide a win-win for both artists and collectors.

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“Lettuce Turnip the Beet” Pun on T-Shirts Not Trademark Use, Ninth Circuit Affirms

The owner of the trademark “LETTUCE TURNIP THE BEET” cannot prevent third parties from printing the mere phrase on t-shirts, tote bags, or other products. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed on January 20, 2021 that consumers are likely to purchase such products because they find the phrase aesthetically pleasing and not because they associate the phrase with any particular source. LTTB LLC v. Redbubble, Inc., 19-16464 (9th Cir. 2021).

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Are Pre-Launch Statements Now Within the Range of the National Advertising Division?

In a bold departure from its focus on allegedly misleading and deceptive statements in commerce, the National Advertising Division’s (“NAD”) decision in PLx Pharma, Inc. (Vazalore), Report #6912, NAD/CARU Case Reports (December 2020), arguably stretches its jurisdictional scope to include certain pre-national launch investor statements.

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