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Category: Assignments


Drafting the Fine Print: Every Word is Significant in a License Agreement
June 28, 2019
Post by Tina G. Yin Sowatzke, Pharm.D.
Tina G Yin-Sowatzke Licensing agreements can be both complex and extensive, however, diligence must be exercised in ensuring that the scope of rights to be transferred are clearly defined. The failure to do so may result in disputes over the interpretation of licensing agreements, where each word and phrase may be painstakingly scrutinized in court. Such disputes arose in the case of Sk├Âld v. Galderma Lab.......
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Derivative Works and Remastered Sound Recordings
June 16, 2016
Post by Brandon W. Clark
Brandon W. Clark A recently decided court case regarding remastered versions of pre-1972 sound recordings could have significant legal and practical implications for musicians, recording artists, sound engineers, and record labels. Judge Perry Anderson, of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, recently granted Summary Judgment for CBS Radio Inc. .......
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Copyright 3-year Statute of Limitations Trumps Laches Defense
May 20, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
PETRELLA v. METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER, INC. Frank Petrella wrote two screenplays and one book based on the life of boxing champion Jake LaMotta. One of the screenplays, registered in 1963, identifies Patrella as the sole author, written in collaboration with LaMotta. LaMotta and Patrella assigned their rights in the screenplay, including renewal rights, to Chartoff-Winkler Productions, Inc. in 1976, who in turn sold.......
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StoneEagle v. Gillman - Patent Inventorship, Authorship, and Ownership
March 31, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
In StoneEagle Services, Inc.,v. Gillman the Federal Circuit confirmed that assistance in reducing aninvention to practice generally does not contribute to inventorship. In this case, the issue centered on whether there was a sufficient controversy regarding inventorship for the case to remain in federal court. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant had "falsely claimed that it is his patent, that he wrote .......
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Federal Circuit Addresses Subject Matter Jurisdiction in Patent-Related Cases
February 14, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
In Semiconductor Energy Lab. Co., Ltd. v. Yujiro Nagata, the Federal Circuit weighed in on federal subject matter jurisdiction and provided two important reminders: (1) Just because a cause of action originates from a patent, standards in the patent statute, or even from other patent litigation, it is the present cause of action and claims that dictate whether subject matter jurisdiction is proper; and (2) .......
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After-the-fact Patent Assignment Too Late to Save Jurisdiction
November 24, 2010
Post by Blog Staff
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Bayh-Dole Patent Ownership Dispute to be heard by Supreme Court
November 08, 2010
Post by Blog Staff
Last week, the Supreme Court announced it will review the Federal Circuit decision in Stanford v. Roche, addressing patent ownership under the Bayh-Dole Act, after granting Stanford's petition for a writ of certiorari. The Court will decide an interesting patent ownership dispute involving the contractual obligation of a University inventor to assign rights to the University and the same inventor's prior a.......
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Ninth Circuit: Termination of rights allows Lassie to come home to author's heir
July 17, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court's denial of summary judgment in a copyright case. The district court held the heir of an author had, by agreement, "given away" the termination right granted by 17 U.S.C. § 304(c).The Ninth Circuit reversed, stating that the district court had gone against the express language of § 304(c)(5), Congress's intent of pro.......
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Ninth Circuit: Heirs of "Pink Panther" coauthor do not retain interest in copyright in the films
June 25, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in a copyright case, holding that a coauthor of a story treatment is not necessarily a coauthor of a motion picture produced based on that treatment, and the factors applied to determine coauthorship led to the conclusion that the coauthor of the treatment was not a coauthor of the motion picture. In this case,.......
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Patent ownership may change by operation of law, including operation of foreign law
March 31, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision today, the Federal Circuit vacated a district court's dismissal of a case for lack of standing on the basis of insufficient evidence of patent ownership. The inventor of the patent died intestate as the only owner of the patent. While his two daughters executed transfers of ownership to the inventor's widow, the district court held that under 35 U.S.C. § 261, the executor of the estat.......
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Second Circuit: retroactive assignment cannot cure past infringement claim by co-author
October 08, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
The Second Circuit yesterday issued a decision regarding whether an action for infringement brought by one co-author of a song can be defeated by the grant of a "retroactive" transfer of ownership to the infringer from a co-author who is not party to the infringement action. The case involved licensing and litigation regarding authorship of two tracks on Mary J. Blige's 2001 album, ironically named .......
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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

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