Copyright opportunities from a JIPEL alumnus

Andrew Moore, NYU ’15, emails us with some great opportunities for students and young lawyers interested in copyright law:   My name is Andrew Moore and I am a recent NYU alumnus and former JIPEL Articles Editor. I wanted to reach out to you to let you know about some great opportunities that your current JIPEL members may be interested in applying for at the U.S. Copyright Office.  First is the Law Clerk.. Read More

The Legal Puzzle of the Rubik’s Cube

I have a friend who competes in Rubik’s Cube championships. He can solve those puzzles with his hands (and feet!) in seconds, and you can watch his dizzying feats on YouTube. A few weeks ago he received an email accusing him of ripping off a “unique 2x2x2 mechanism.” We’re not exactly sure what that phrase means. Could it mean that the e-mailer is laying claim to a particular method of solving the Rubik’s.. Read More

Do We Really Care About the Copyrightability of Single Words?

Most copyright scholars will tell you that single words are non-copyrightable. The rationale for this is obvious: permitting copyrightability of such utterances would lead to bizarre forms of monopoly where language’s building blocks could essentially be privatized. The most paradigmatic example is, of course, literature. It hardly needs to be explained how certain words being off limits to the general public would discourage the creation of new works. Do we feel the same.. Read More

What to Learn from Martin Shkreli: The Media is Not Comfortable Discussing Patent Law

Turing Pharmaceuticals recently raised the price of their drug, Daraprim, dramatically from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill. Daraprim is mainly used to treat toxoplasmosis, a complication that only requires treatment in individuals with weakened immune systems. On September 8, 2015, the Infectious Disease Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association wrote a letter to Turing asking for the price to be reduced to increase access to the drug. The media.. Read More

Attending Copyright Society’s Copyright and Collaborative Works Event

The Copyright Society of the USA’s New York chapter held a lunch event titled “Copyright and Collaborative Works” at the Princeton Club in Manhattan.  The Copyright Society holds events throughout the year, often focusing on new developments in copyright law. The lunch was well attended.  It was announced that over 100 people signed up for the event. From what I could tell, I was the only current law student in attendance.  The majority.. Read More

Looking Back to Move Forward: The USPTO’s New Policy Initiative

Earlier this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced an initiative to enhance the quality of patents. This new initiative comes on the heels of previous quality initiatives and the patent office’s efforts to reduce the unexamined application backlog from more than 764,000 unexamined applications in January 2009 to its present level of 566,100 applications. This drop in the application backlog has helped reduce the total pendency from filing of a.. Read More

Come to a Live Markman Hearing in a Current Case in SDNY

On September 30, 2015, in recognition and celebration of the Southern District of New York Court’s 225th Anniversary, the Fordham IP Institute and NYIPLA will host a Markman Claim Construction hearing presided over by the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff. The hearing is part of the case, Wundaformer, LLC v. v. Flex Studios, Inc. et al. (1:15-cv-04508 JSR), which is currently pending before Judge Rakoff. The case involves United States Patent No. 8,602,953, which relates to.. Read More

A Not So Happy Birthday

The companies that have been collecting royalties on the “Happy Birthday” song for the past 80 years will be singing a different tune this year. According to federal judge George H. King of the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, none of these companies have held a valid copyright claim to the song. This ruling is a reversal of decades of copyright claims. The judge held.. Read More

Celebrity Rights and Retail Appropriation

In the age of Instagram, Tumblr and other social networking sites models like Cara Delevingne are the perfect representation of a new age where models have learned how to brand themselves. Now, more than ever, fashion models recognize that their image can be turned into a brand and lifestyle if managed correctly. This means that models should take great strides to protect the legal rights affixed to their image. The right of publicity.. Read More

Amazing Case: The Dangerous Precedent of the Injunction Against Amazing Grace

On September 4, just hours after legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin submitted her complaint, a federal judge granted an emergency temporary injunction to enjoin Allen Elliot’s Amazing Grace documentary from screening at the Telluride Film Festival.  Documentary filmmakers, and potentially all creative workers, should Say a Little Prayer that this hasty (3 page) decision is just a legal anomaly. On September 4, mere hours before Amazing Grace was set to premiere at the.. Read More