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The Federal Circuit decisions in the Oracle v. Google copyright case rattled Silicon Valley not simply because the decisions upended software developers’ understandings of copyright law, but also because the decisions do not comport with the disruptive ethos of the technology industry.
The Federal Circuit decisions in the Oracle v. Google copyright case rattled Silicon Valley not simply because the decisions upended software developers’ understandings of copyright law, but also because the decisions do not comport with the disruptive ethos of the technology industry. Software development thrives on an open environment defined by creation through iteration. Yet, the Federal Circuit’s decisions grant a copyright holder a tremendous amount of control over even a small portion of code, and by extension, developers who use that code to create new products. Such control is especially acute when dealing with a copyright holder known for aggressive litigation tactics, such as Oracle. In the wake of Google’s recent petition for certiorari, Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Google LLC v. Oracle Am. Inc., No. __ (Jan. 25, 2019), this article reviews the Federal Circuit decisions and summarizes their legal, economic, and cultural impact. The analysis suggests that much of the innovation of the technology sector now hinges on the U.S. Supreme Court.
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By Kerry S. Taylor and Nathanael R. Luman
On May 27, 2020 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) proposed rule changes to govern inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), and covered business method (CBM) review proceedings at the PTAB. This article provides a summary of each proposed rule change and its potential impact on PTAB practice.
By J. Alexander Lawrence
Don and Phil Everly’s flawless harmonies that resulted in a string of hits in the 1950s and '60s regrettably ended in acrimony. The Sixth Circuit recently issued a decision in a dispute between Phil’s heirs and Don over copyright ownership of the No. 1 hit “Cathy’s Clown,” in which concurring Judge Eric E. Murphy raised important questions about when the statute of limitations should begin to run in copyright cases and whether courts have been correctly applying the law.
By Rebecca Kirk Fair, Peter Hess and Vendela Fehrm
Surveys can provide useful evidence in litigation if they are conducted by a qualified expert employing reliable methods that survive a Daubert challenge. In the first of a series of articles drawing on our review of over 300 U.S. court rulings in cases involving surveys, including over 150 Daubert motions, we provide some suggestions for getting survey evidence admitted for consideration in court.
By Stan Soocher
Federal courts have long disagreed over whether the unauthorized “making available” of a plaintiff’s works to the public is sufficient to constitute copyright infringement under the U.S. Copyright Act. Two June District Court decisions demonstrated the differences between the views of the Fourth and Ninth Circuits.