Technically Legal

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Music Publishers Sue Cox For Users’ Copyright Infringement

The WSJ is reporting that music publishers BMG and Round Hill Music are suing Cox for copyright infringement. Details are sparse in the article and we haven’t been able to locate a copy of the complaint yet, but the gist of the suit appears to be that BMG and Roundhill notified Cox of repeat infringers, but Cox did not disconnect those users from the internet. One of the conditions for a service provider to be eligible for the DMCA safe harbor is that they:

(A) ha[ve] adopted and reasonably implemented, and inform[ed] subscribers and account holders of the service provider’s system or network of, a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the service provider’s system or network who are repeat infringers

Presumably (and we’ll likely be following this story closely with updates as we get them), BMG is arguing that Cox, in failing in implement a termination policy, forfeited its safe harbor and is liable for primary or secondary copyright infringement.

UDPATE: Here’s the complaint.

1 Comment Posted in: Analysis, Links on November 28, 2014

Apple Hit With $23 Million Patent Infringement Verdict

Apple Inc. lost a big patent infringement case against MTel in the Eastern District of Texas. It’s safe to assume that Apple will appeal, and a likely target of that appeal will be a recent decision from the Federal Circuit criticizing certain methods of calculating damages. The patents related generally to text-based communication.

Comments Off on Apple Hit With $23 Million Patent Infringement Verdict Posted in: Links on November 19, 2014

A More Enforceable Terms and Conditions

After the news yesterday of the Ninth Circuit holding that Barnes & Noble’s Terms of Service were never agreed to, I wanted to highlight the “Terms and Conditions” on the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. site.

The Terms and Conditions are never explicitly agreed to by the customer, but that’s OK, because they don’t require agreement by the customer. They are reproduced in full below:

Customer Service
Bottom line, we are a small company, and we are positioned to ensure your experience with us is pleasant. If it isn’t, give us a call. We’ll answer.

Privacy Notice
We don’t give away your information, because that’s not nice, and we are nice people.

Return Information
You’ll love our products. If you don’t, send them back within 60 days and we’ll take care of it.

Comments Off on A More Enforceable Terms and Conditions Posted in: Commentary, Links on August 19, 2014

Patently-O: Data Structures Patent Ineligible

It’s been a slow couple of weeks in tech-law news, so here’s some great analysis by Patently-O on a recent software patent case.

Comments Off on Patently-O: Data Structures Patent Ineligible Posted in: Links on July 23, 2014

Entertainment Law Update on Aereo

In addition to the cellphone opinion we already covered, on June 25th, the Supreme Court decided the Aereo case in favor of the major broadcasters.

We’ve been a little tied up, but our friends at the Entertainment Law Update did a quick podcast discussing the opinion. It’s some of the best analysis of the opinion we’ve seen. Hopefully we’ll be able to chime in with a few thoughts soon.

1 Comment Posted in: Links on June 26, 2014

SCOTUS Hands Down Two More Unanimous Patent Opinions

The opinions are in the hotly anticipated Akamai case, where the Court rejected the Federal Circuit’s expanded induced infringement doctrine, and in the less anticipated Nautilus case regarding certainty in patent claims. We’ve linked to some solid analysis by the folks at Patently-O, above.

Comments Off on SCOTUS Hands Down Two More Unanimous Patent Opinions Posted in: Links on June 3, 2014

District Court Awards Fees In Patent Dispute

The blogosphere has been going a little bonkers over a recent opinion awarding legal fees to a defendant in a patent case.

I believe the opinion is the first to award fees under a new standard that the Supreme Court handed down in April. That case was not unusual in that it told the Federal Circuit that the test it was using, here to determine whether fees should be awarded, was too restrictive (a common theme in Supreme Court patent opinions).

This case is important because it has a lot of the features that people most associate with so-called patent trolls: settlement offers from plaintiff well-below the cost of litigation, limited or absent pre-suit diligence, weak infringement claims, and weak patents. This case is less important because those cases make up a relatively small percentage of patent litigation. Further, the conduct that the plaintiff engaged in was arguably independently sanctionable, even without the need of 35 U.S.C. 285 to shift fees.

Notably, nothing in this opinion reach patent trolls who send demand letters, but never file a case. If anything, this opinion will encourage trolls to send more demand letters to companies, but avoid reaching a court room.

Comments Off on District Court Awards Fees In Patent Dispute Posted in: Commentary, Links on June 2, 2014

Patent Reform Likely Dead This Term

Patently-O is reporting that patent reform has been taken off the agenda for the Senate judiciary committee due to a lack of consensus regarding the competing proposals. Because of the impending mid-term elections, it is unlikely that this matter will come up again before the 2015 Congress is sworn in.

There were two major competing proposals for patent reform this term: one that concentrated on fee shifting, and a second that would have, among other things, raised the pleading standard in patent cases – requiring more proof from the plaintiff before a suit could be filed.

Comments Off on Patent Reform Likely Dead This Term Posted in: Commentary, Links on May 21, 2014

Righthaven Ordered to Show Cause

“Accordingly, the court orders Righthaven to show cause, in writing, no later than two weeks from the date of this order, why it should not be sanctioned for this flagrant misrepresentation to the court.”

A Las Vegas judge has ordered Righthaven to show cause as to why it should not be sanctioned for failing to disclose Stevens Media as an interested third party in its cases, and for misrepresenting the ownership right it had over the copyrights in question.

This is very bad news for Righthaven. Very bad news.

Comments Off on Righthaven Ordered to Show Cause Posted in: Links on June 14, 2011

Apple files motion to intervene in Lodsys patent suits against iOS developers

Today, Apple filed a motion to intervene under FRCP 24 in the Lodsys patent suits which have been threaten/filed against seven iOS developers who refused to pay licensing fees for Lodsys’ patent no.’s 7,222,078 and 7,620,565.

Over the  past several weeks, Lodsys has been criticized in the tech media for claiming that the developers are required to obtain licenses from Lodsys for utilizing in-app purchasing technologies.  This claim was widely covered by the tech media because the seven developers at issue were, for the most part, very small players in the appdev world, and because Apple already licenses this technology for iOS.  Lodsys, on the other hand, believes that licenses must be obtained from both Apple and the developers.  On June 1, Lodsys sued the developers after Apple sent a letter to Lodsys asking them to play nice.

[Apple’s motion to intervene]

1 Comment Posted in: Links on June 10, 2011

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