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In the context of a copyright case, a defendant's prior bad acts and prior conduct are more useful to a plaintiff than is typical in civil litigation.
In the context of a copyright case, a defendant’s prior bad acts and prior conduct are more useful to a plaintiff than is typical in civil litigation. In many instances, copyright infringement lawsuits are brought against defendants who have been sued before for infringement, or related misconduct, or who have been the subject of allegations or informal complaints, or who simply have experience in copyright matters. Under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b), the use to which prior bad acts and conduct may be put by a plaintiff in a regular civil case is limited, and Federal Rule of Evidence 403 balances the probative value of the evidence against prejudice. In copyright cases, however, as a practical matter, the plaintiff has somewhat more latitude, and such evidence may serve several distinct objectives. A defendant’s history, whether related to the misconduct at issue or not, may be used by a savvy plaintiff in three ways: 1) to establish willfulness, and thus both enhance the statutory damages award and obtain attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act; 2) to establish knowledge, and thereby make a case (where appropriate) for contributory infringement; and 3) as a basis for injunctive relief.
By Scott D. Locke
The recent In Re Rembrandt Technologies decision is a reminder of both the potential consequence of a patent holder’s disingenuous assertion of unintentionality and the challenges that defendants face when raising the improper filing of a petition to revive a lapsed patent as a defense.
By Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
Recently, the Southern District of New York 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?
By Olivera Medenica
A look at several unique trademark cases where the plaintiff fashion brand proactively sought to invalidate a competitor’s non-traditional trademarks, an action which reflects a push back on increasingly aggressive litigation tactics by fashion brands seeking to blur the lines between a non-protectable fashion trend and a protectable trademark.
By Scott Graham
The USPTO announced revisions to PTAB procedures that formalize Andrei Iancu’s control over the 250 administrative patent judges and their policy-making, while making that control more transparent.