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Halloween Edition: Copyright for Banana Costume is upheld on A-Peel

By Brandon W. Clark

The Third Circuit recently held that a banana costume qualified for copyright protection as Rasta Imposta, a retail wholesaler of Halloween costumes, sued Kangaroo Manufacturing, a costume manufacturer, for copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition after Rasta discovered Kangaroo selling a banana costume that resembled one of Rasta’s costumes without a license. The […]

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The Eagles Sue Hotel California

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair Warm smell of the courtroom, rising up through the air (sorry) Earlier this week, The Eagles sued a Mexico based hotel, aptly named Hotel California, alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition. The case, filed May 1, 2017, isEagles Ltd v Hotel California Baja LLC et […]

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Plan for the New Year, Maybe More Opinions of Counsel?

One of the most important US Supreme Court decisions in 2016 or in recent years is Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc.  In Halo, the Supreme Court reshaped the law on enhanced damages by relaxing the standard for providing willful infringement and making it easier for patent owners to recover enhanced damages.   Before 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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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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Another Billion Dollar Patent Verdict

Another billion dollar verdict has been handed out in a patent case. Read the verdict in Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group, LTD. here. This latest case continues a string of billion dollar verdicts highlighted by Jonathan Kennedy in the latest edition of MVS Briefs. Carnegie Mellon brought suit alleging infringement of two of […]

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Remittitur without new trial requires legal error, not error as a matter of law

In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's reduction of the jury's damages award, remanding the case for a new trial on damages, and affirmed the jury's verdict of willful infringement and the district court's award of attorney fees under § 285. The district court held there was insufficient evidence as a […]

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First Circuit: Don’t expect to win on appeal if you admit 7 of 8 likelihood of confusion factors

In a decision Friday, the First Circuit affirmed a district court's summary judgment of trademark infringement and an associated award of the defendant's profits and attorney fees to the plaintiff. The defendant used the plaintiff's registered marks in both the metatags of its website as well as in white text on a white background in […]

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Irreparable harm to exclusive licensee cannot support injunction; willfulness vacated post-Seagate

In a decision Monday, the Federal Circuit addressed a range of issues and ultimately affirmed a district court's denial of injunctive relief and, in light of the intervening Seagate decision, vacated and remanded the case for reconsideration regarding willfulness. The court also affirmed the district court's finding of no invalidity and the infringement of some […]

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