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On April 5, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ended a copyright case that left as many questions as it gave answers, in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., 141 S.Ct. 1183 (2021). In a lengthy decision, 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. A 6-2 panel (Justice Barrett did not participate) found in favor of Google, holding that its use the copied code constituted fair use. However, the Court did not answer the question of whether specific components of computer software qualifies for copyright protection at all.
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By Sarah Benowich
The Federal Circuit recently clarified — and lowered — the threshold to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over an out of state declaratory judgment defendant.
By Stan Soocher
Johansson alleges that, in order to generate new subscribers for Disney+, Disney intentionally interfered with her talent agreement with Disney affiliate Marvel Studios for her featured role in Black Widow — and thus allegedly induced Marvel to breach a promise in the Johansson/Marvel agreement for the film to be initially distributed in exclusive “wide theatrical release.” Updated Oct. 1 to reflect a confidential settlement reached in the case.
By Eric Alan Stone and Catherine Nyarady
The likelihood of confusion analysis is often focused on confusion at the time of purchase, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits permit mark holders to allege infringement based on presale, initial-interest confusion. Earlier this year, the Eighth Circuit joined the majority of circuits in permitting recovery for initial-interest confusion in certain circumstances.
By Christopher Jackson and Jessica Smith
the Tenth Circuit held that the Lanham Act can have extraterritorial application, if certain conditions are met. In doing so, the appellate court recognized — and further deepened — an ongoing circuit split.