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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that individual states are free to commit copyright infringement. The Court held that Congress attempted to abrogate states’ sovereign immunity in an unconstitutional manner when enacting the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 (CRCA) (codified in 17 U.S.C. §511). See, Allen v. Cooper, No. 18-877, slip op. at 4 (Mar. 23, 2020). Sovereign immunity through the Eleventh Amendment has yet again proven to be a powerful tool for states to avoid intellectual property infringement liability, where private actors would not be so fortunate. Although Congress said that “[a]ny State … shall not be immune, under the Eleventh Amendment … or any other doctrine of sovereign immunity” from copyright infringement and that remedies available for such infringement would be “available … to the same extent as such remedies are available for such a violation … against any public or private entity,” the Court ruled that this language impermissibly abrogated states’ rights. 35 U.S.C. §511.
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By Christine K. Au-Yeung
NFTs have been all the rage in the world. So what exactly are NFTs, and how do they reconcile with the basic tenets of intellectual property law?
By Shaleen Patel
The Court cleared Google of copyright infringement in terminating a 16-year long dispute as to whether Google’s Android mobile platform had infringed Oracle’s Java programming language’s copyright. However, the Court did not answer the question of whether specific components of computer software qualifies for copyright protection at all.
By Chidera Anyanwu and Chloe Delehanty
In some instances the appearance of third-party intellectual property on items purchased, owned and customized by the purchaser may be legal under the doctrines of first sale and fair use.
By Jeffrey Ginsberg and Matthew Weiss
Federal Circuit: The Doctrine of Equivalents Is Not a Binary Choice
Federal Circuit: No Estoppel for Party That Joined IPR