Filewrapper

OMG Dolls v. OMG Girlz Ends in Mistrial

By Julie L. Spieker

On January 25, 2023, a trial between rapper T.I. and doll maker MGA Entertainment Inc. ended in a mistrial after the judge determined that improper testimony regarding cultural appropriation was “incurably prejudicial” to the jury. In December 2020, MGA Entertainment sued Clifford T.I. Harris, his wife Temeka “Tiny” Harris, and OMG Girlz seeking a Declaratory […]

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Who Owns the Copyright in A Tattoo?

By Brandon W. Clark

17 U.S.C § 201. Ownership of a Copyright. (a) Initial Ownership. — Copyright in a work protected under this title vests initially in the author or authors of the work. The authors of a joint work are coowners of copyright in the work. The ownership of the copyright in a tattoo has long been the […]

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Music Publishing Company Sues Spotify for $1.6 Billion

By Brandon W. Clark

Spotify has a growing copyright problem and as previously discussed on this blog (here and here) they are no stranger to copyright infringement lawsuits. Wixen Music Publishing Inc. recently filed a complaint seeking $1.6 billion in damages alleging copyright infringement. On December 29th, Wixen filed suit in California federal court claiming Spotify has repeatedly failed […]

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Broad Definition of “Article of Manufacture” Costs Apple $400M

Since May 2015, Filewrapper, along with the intellectual property community, has been closely watching the heated Apple v. Samsung design patent and trade dress row.  On December 6th, the Supreme Court upset the controversial $400 million damages award to Apple, essentially holding that such penalties are available for the “article of manufacture,”which may not mean the […]

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Supreme Court Issues Decision on Treble Damages

On the subject of willful infringement, 35 U.S.C. § 284 provides that, “[T]he court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed.‚¬ On its face, the statute allows for broad discretion by the district courts, but the Federal Circuit set out a stricter standard for awarding of enhanced damages, as […]

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Supreme Court Revisits Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Cases

Earlier this week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments addressing the relevant standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in cases involving copyright law. The Court’s ruling, expected later this spring, will likely have a significant impact on copyright litigation cases. Section 505 of the Copyright Act provides that a district court “may”award a reasonable attorney’s fee […]

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Does Spotify Owe You Money? Streaming Service Sued for $150 Million in Unpaid Royalties

David Lowery, the frontman of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, has recently filed a class action lawsuit seeking at least $150 million dollars in damages against Spotify. Lowry alleges Spotify knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully reproduces and distributes copyrighted compositions without obtaining mechanical licenses. According to the complaint, which was filed December 28th in the Central […]

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Supreme Court to Review Willful Infringement Standard in Light of Octane Fitness

In the 2014 case of Octane Fitness v. ICON Health & Fitness, the Supreme Court overruled Federal Circuit jurisprudence and provided a flexible framework for district courts to grant attorney’s fees in “exceptional cases”under 35 U.S.C. § 285. The Court reasoned that requiring a prevailing party to show “material inappropriate conduct”or that a case was […]

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Apple v. Samsung-Part II, A Design Patent Breakdown

  The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently decided the appeal for Apple v. Samsung, involving allegations of trade dress dilution, design patent infringement, and utility patent infringement. The case relates to Samsung’s alleged copying of Apple’s popular iPhone smartphone. A jury previously found that Samsung infringed Apple’s design and utility […]

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Lost Profit Damages Require Actual Sales by Patentee

The award of damages in patent infringement cases is governed by 35 U.S.C. § 284. The statute provides “[u]pon finding for the [patent owner] the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the […]

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