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It is hard to imagine the current U.S. Supreme Court agreeing on something as simple as their lunch order in a time when 5-4 decisions feel like the norm. So, when it unanimously agrees, one might conclude that the question at hand was not very difficult. Not so here. In Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, No. 17-571 (March 4, 2019), the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split decades in the making by holding that a copyright is not “registered” within the meaning of the Copyright Act unless and until a registration certificate actually has issued. The Supreme Court’s short opinion upheld an Eleventh Circuit decision, and undertook no more than a simple statutory construction analysis, finding that the plain language of the Copyright Act cannot be ignored because of hypothetical ill effects, especially ones fully within the purview of Congress to fix. A plaintiff cannot sue for copyright infringement until registration has issued, or been denied by the Copyright Office; a mere pending application will not suffice.
By Karen Hoffman Lent and Kenneth Schwartz
The DOJ’s intervention, and the judge’s ultimate decision, has exposed tensions between the DOJ and FTC, and within the FTC itself, and public scrutiny is far from over as the case heads to the Ninth Circuit on appeal.
By Nicole D. Galli
In the last five years, the courts have instead began wading into policy setting without the tools and resources to fully consider all the issues and various interests. Thus, the recent congressional efforts to consider these questions is welcome and, frankly, overdue.
By Scott Graham
Fifteen states had argued that they and their public universities shouldn’t have to expose their patents to validity review at the patent trial and appeal board.
By Jeffrey S. Ginsberg and Abhishek Bapna
Federal Circuit Finds District Court Erred in Analysis of Motivation to Combine Prior Art References, Yet Affirms Ultimate Conclusion of Non-obviousness Due to the Lack of a Reasonable Expectation of Success
Federal Circuit Rules that Issue Preclusion Bars a Party from Arguing in an Appeal of an Inter Partes Review Decision an Issue Previously Decided in Another Inter Partes Review Proceeding that Was Not Appealed