Trademarks, Copyrights, and Business Law

Court Rules TV-Streaming Service Provider May Seek Compulsory Copyright Licenses; Fox to Appeal

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015

In what may be considered a surprise decision, a federal judge ruled that online television streaming service, FilmOn X, may be treated as a cable company by allowing it the same compulsory copyright licenses that broadcast companies receive. FilmOn offers content from cable companies like Fox, NBC, and the like. FilmOn captures broadcast television signals and transmits them to its users through the internet, enabling them to watch on their web-enabled devises. Multiple cable companies sued FilmOn based on the premise that because it does not function like a traditional cable company, it should not be permitted to utilize Section 111 of the Copyright Act. This...

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Ninth Circuit Sends Amazon back to Court to Face Trademark Infringement Claim

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that internet-based retail giant could be misleading consumers by displaying a watchmaker’s competing products when users search for its watches (read the full opinion here). Multi Time Machine Inc. (“MTM”), a luxury, military style watchmaker, brought a trademark infringement claim asserting Amazon violated its trademarks by displaying a rival brand’s products when customers searched for “MTM” watches. This case, which came on appeal after Amazon won a motion for summary judgment in the District Court, is unique in that MTM brought its trademark infringement claim based on a likelihood of initial...

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Justin Bieber and Usher Ordered back to Court for Copyright Infringement

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015

Pop stars Justin Bieber and Usher Raymond will be heading back to court after the Fourth Circuit for the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a reasonable jury may find they infringed copyrights in their 2010 hit song, “Somebody to Love.” (Read the full opinion here) The unanimous Court ruled the plaintiffs, R&B singer Devin Copeland A.K.A. De Rico, and his songwriting partner first brought the case in May 2013, alleging Bieber, Usher, or both recorded three versions of the song which had a similar beat pattern, time signature, and chords and lyrics with their own song under the very same name. The case was dismissed in the federal District Court ruling that a...

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