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Courts have said time and again that the fair use doctrine may be “‘the most troublesome in the whole law of copyright.’” See, e.g., Oracle Am., Inc. v. Google Inc., 886 F.3d 1179, 1191 (Fed. Cir. 2018) [internal citations omitted], rev’d on other grounds, 141 S. Ct. 1183 (2021). The Supreme Court’s May 18, 2023 decision, which seeks to clarify what is or is not “transformative use” under the law, affirmed The Andy Warhol Found. for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith, 11 F.4th 26 (2d Cir. 2021), finding no fair use. In the process, the Supreme Court adds a new layer of analysis in deciding what is or is not fair. The decision has also generated considerable controversy between Justice Sotomayor, who wrote for the majority, and Justice Kagan, who wrote a stinging dissent. What is clear is that the label “transformative” is no longer a get-out-of-jail-free card; instead, a new balance must be struck between the new use and the exclusive right of authors to make derivative works, and part of that balance includes a clearer focus on the statutory fair use factors (education, comment and criticism) as well as the commercial nature or not of the new work. As a practical matter, how much the decision changes in this “troublesome” area remains to be seen.
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By Howard Shire and Sean McConnell
On June 29, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court set new geographic limits for infringement and false designation of origin claims raised under Sections 1114 and 1125(a) of the Lanham Act. Given the global nature of business today, the decision highlights the need for trademark owners to continually reassess and, perhaps, expand their international trademark registration strategy as product lines and brands become more international in scope.
By Steven James and Hattie Chessher
In April 2021, a food fight broke out between two of the UK’s largest supermarkets. Marks and Spencer launched legal action against Aldi over the latter’s alleged copy of its signature “Colin the Caterpillar” cake. This article takes a look at the issues surrounding lookalikes, what the English courts have said about them and what can be done by brand owners to protect against the risks they present.
By Amir Kashani, Xuechen (Rebecca) Ding and Aseet Patel
Takeaways from 'IBM v. Zillow' from a Patent Drafting Perspective
Part Two of a Two-Part Article
In Part One of this article we discussed the IBM v. Zillow case, where IBM sued Zillow for infringing on seven IBM’s patents directed to artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for estimating property value. The focus was on the difficulties in establishing patent infringement on specific AI algorithms, as well as the strategic advantages of including additional patent claims that target ancillary features of an AI system. In this segment, we analyze the claims made in the Zillow case and present some tips for drafting AI-related claims from the perspective of patent infringement.
By Jeffrey S. Ginsberg and Joyce L. Nadipuram
Federal Circuit Clarifies Motivation to Combine to Achieve the Claimed Invention and Holds IPR Petitioner Must Be Given Opportunity to Reply Where Patent Owner First Proposes Claim Construction In a Response