Ownership Issues Underlying the "Work Made for Hire" Doctrine

Ownership Issues Underlying the "Work Made for Hire" Doctrine

By Andrea Anapolsky

The "work made for hire" doctrine is a major exception to the fundamental principle that copyright ownership vests in the person who created the work. The significance of this doctrine is that, as the copyright owner of the work, an employer will own all exclusive rights to the work and may freely commercialize the property to its fullest extent.

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E-Discovery Ethical Rules Remain Unchanged

E-Discovery Ethical Rules Remain Unchanged

By Dale C. Campbell

Lawyers can’t turn around without being bombarded with CLE brochures announcing yet another e-discovery workshop. Electronic discovery is a new medium for storing information, but the time-tested rules concerning an attorney’s ethical duty to the court and opposing counsel in connection with discovery have not changed. On January 7, 2008, Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major on the United States District Court,

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Election of Statutory Damages for Counterfeiting Bars Attorney's Fees

Election of Statutory Damages for Counterfeiting Bars Attorney’s Fee

By Jeffrey Pietsch

Plaintiffs in trademark infringement cases may not be eligible for attorney fees depending on their election of damages. This last December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals examined whether or not electing statutory damages for trademark counterfeiting claims under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(c) precludes the awarding of attorney fees under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(b). The court held that an election for statutory damages does indeed bar the plaintiff from recovering attorney fees in counterfeiting cases.

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Trademark Infringement and the Importance of Establishing Likelihood of Confusion

Trademark Infringement and the Importance of Establishing Likelihood of Confusion

By James Kachmar

On December 28, 2007, the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in the case titled Applied Information Sciences Corp. v. eBay, Inc., in which it clarified the plaintiff’s burden in a federally registered trademark infringement action. The Ninth Circuit’s opinion demonstrates the importance of a plaintiff in a trademark infringement claim being prepared to offer evidence of the likelihood of confusion in order to avoid dismissal of its trademark infringement claims.

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In The 9th Circuit, May Not Be Worth It To Elect Statutory Damages In Trademark Counterfeiting Claim

In The 9th Circuit, May Not Be Worth It To Elect Statutory Damages In Trademark Counterfeiting Claim

By Scott Hervey

In a trademark counterfeiting claim, the successful plaintiff is entitled to recover actual damages or can statutory damages. However, according to a recent decision by the 9th Circuit, depending on the recovery sought, the plaintiff may loose the ability to recover attorney fees.

In K and N Engineering,

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The Federal Circuit Finds Mental Process Unpatentable

The Federal Circuit Finds Mental Process Unpatentable

By Audrey Millemann

Patentable subject matter (i.e. what kinds of things can be patented) includes processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter. 35 U.S.C. §101. Abstract ideas, natural phenomena, and laws of nature are non-patentable (or non-statutory) subject matter. Computerized methods of doing business are increasingly likely to be rejected as non-patentable subject matter by the PTO, and the courts are becoming more likely to affirm these rejections.

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Can A Company Go Too Far In Preventing Its Employees From Being Hired Away By Its Customers?

Can A Company Go Too Far In Preventing Its Employees From Being Hired Away By Its Customers?

By Dale C. Campbell

Can a company go too far in preventing its employees from being hired away by its customers? The Fourth District Court of Appeal recently answered, “yes,” but gave some indication where the line of permissible restrictions is crossed. (VL Systems, Inc. v. Unisen, Inc. (June 2007) 152 Cal.App.4th 708.)

The plaintiff VL Systems (“VLS”) was a computer consulting company and defendant Unisen was its client.

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Fantasy Sports League Hits It Out Of The Park In Challenging MLB's Ownership Of Player Statistics

Fantasy Sports League Hits It Out Of The Park In Challenging MLB’s Ownership Of Player Statistics

By Scott Hervey

Just how valuable are baseball statistics? Apparently very valuable. In fact, baseball statistics are so valuable that CBC Distribution and Marketing, which has run the CDM Fantasy Sports leagues since 1992, sued Major League Baseball and challenged its ownership claim over player statistics. In a matter which rose all the way to the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit,

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