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The Southern District of New York recently resolved a question that neither the Southern District nor the Second Circuit had ever squarely faced: Can the lawful owner of an art object create and post a photograph of that object in connection with the sale of the object through an online platform such as eBay, without the permission of the owner of copyright in the object? The sale of the object is clearly permitted under the first sale doctrine, codified at §109(a) of the Copyright Act, but by its terms §109(a) only creates an affirmative defense to the distribution of the physical object itself: “the owner of a particular copy … lawfully made under this title … is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy.” The statute does not allow the making of a reproduction or a derivative work, such as a photo, or the display or distribution of such an image, and indeed courts (notably the Ninth Circuit) have sometimes found similar activities to be infringing.
By Leslie Kushner
This article discusses the jurisprudence applied to determining patent eligibility of claims for diagnostic methods, and the expectation for changes in analysis of patent eligibility under §101 in the near future.
By Matthew Calcagno
Documents are the lifeblood of any law firm. The documents that a firm produces are its greatest asset, especially the intellectual property — trade secrets, patent information, etc. — contained in those documents, yet firms historically have not made sufficient efforts to safeguard those documents from both internal and external threats.
By Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
It’s a common fact pattern: A songwriter alleges that another songwriter has infringed the lyrics of Song A by using a similar short phrase, frequently a current slang phrase, in the lyrics of Song B. Claims like this do not often succeed because “words and short phrases such as names, titles, and slogans” are “not subject to copyright.”
By Joshua R. Stein and Jeff Ginsberg
Federal Circuit Holds PTAB Judges Unconstitutional, Constructs a Fix—But Not All Judges Agree on What Happens Next