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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 Erin Hennessy, Annie Allison and Logan Kotler
Copyright, Fortnite and the Ability to Protect How You Shake Your Groove Thing
The U.S. Supreme Court just crashed the copyright world’s latest dance party — stepping on the toes of a soiree of copyright infringement lawsuits against videogame developer Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite.
By John P. Isacson
IPRs have now been conducted for several years, and litigation has ensued over the procedures by which they are conducted. Decisions have been rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which have resolved some issues, created others, and altered procedures.
By Amanda H. Wilcox
Social media is growing up, and this means that brands of all sizes and across all industries are using social media as part of their marketing strategy. However, courts have confirmed that the basic tenets of intellectual property law and advertising law still apply. The following guidelines stem from common questions that clients often have in the area of social media marketing.
By Jeff Ginsberg and Zhiqiang Liu
Federal Circuit Declines to Follow Patent Office’s Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance In Affirming Trial Court’s Decision That Claims Are Directed to Patent-Ineligible Subject Matter