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Two April 2019 circuit court cases clarified copyright infringement of photographs on the Internet. In a case of first impression before the Ninth Circuit, the court opined on the degree of financial benefit required to prove vicarious liability for copyright infringement. In addition, the panel examined jury instructions regarding willfulness in the context of statutory damages. In the Fourth Circuit, the court examined how the infringer’s motives could affect the affirmative defense of fair use. Both cases serve as cautionary tales for those who takes photographs for their websites from the Internet without investigating copyright rights.
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By Jonathan Moskin
In 2013, the PTO adopted a new policy under which any party commencing a de novo proceeding challenging a PTO decision would be responsible to pay a pro rata share of the salaries of the government attorneys working on the matter. On Dec. 11, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the PTO’s new interpretation of the Patent Act and held that the American Rule, a centuries-old principle under which each party bears its own attorneys’ fees, does apply to this statute.
By Mary A. Donovan
In a recent trademark cancellation case that has drawn “human interest” attention in the news, the plaintiff appealed an adverse decision to the Federal Circuit. The plaintiff was not “kidding” when he expressed his opinion that the registered mark, described as “goats on a roof of grass,” is demeaning to goats which, in turn, is offensive to him.
By Shaleen J. Patel
Do Not Pass Go? U.S. Supreme Court to Review Federal Circuit’s Finding of Justiciability
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.