Interview: Professor Fromer and the Star Athletica case

In this interview, Jeanne Fromer, professor at NYU School of Law, discusses her experience filing an amicus brief in the Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. case decided this past year. The Court ruled that the useful article doctrine did not pose a bar to Varsity Brands’ enforcement of copyright against Star Athletica in five designs of Varsity Brands’ cheerleading uniforms. Jeanne Fromer also discusses her views on and critiques of the.. Read More

Speaking About Politics: A Fireable Offense?

President Trump’s remarks that NFL owners should fire players who chose to kneel during the national anthem and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ statement that Jemele Hill’s tweets disparaging Trump were a “fireable offense” pose an important question: can a private-sector employee be fired based on his or her political speech? The simple answer is yes; an employer may impose restrictions on speech relating to politics and decide to terminate employment.. Read More

Will Allergan’s Questionable New Licensing Tactic Kill Inter Partes Review?

In 2015, Allergan, a powerhouse pharmaceutical company, filed suit against generic companies for patent infringement. Allergan, Inc. v. TEVA Pharms. USA, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-1455-WCB (E.D. Tex. Oct. 16, 2017) hosted by ipwatchdog.com. The claim alleged infringement of patents that cover Allergan’s blockbuster eye drug, Restasis. In hopes of invalidating the Restasis patents, defendants filed administrative challenges in front of the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) using a procedure known as inter partes.. Read More

Descriptive There, Trademarked Here: An “Ugg”-ly Dispute

It is widely accepted in the United States that generic and descriptive terms cannot be trademarked. So what happens when a descriptive word from a foreign country makes its way to the U.S. and is trademarked by a U.S. company? Are the people from that country then barred from using that term to advertise their products in the U.S., even if they deem the term descriptive?   This is the predicament Australian sheepskin.. Read More

Theatrical Parody in an Age of Uncertain Fair Use in the Second Circuit

Fair use doctrine has been challenged and stretched by the technological leaps and bounds of recent years. In the recent Second Circuit case, Author’s Guild v. Google, the court grappled with the issue of whether Google Books snippets were fair uses of the copyrighted works. These determinations are far beyond the scope of what is contemplated by the Section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act, which sets forth factors courts should consider when.. Read More

Video Games: A Growing Market and its Intellectual Property Needs

The video game industry is a rapidly growing market. The rising prize pools of video game tournaments and the popularity of streaming personalities are just a couple of the signs of this growth. Game revenues are expected to hit $108.9 billion in 2017, an increase of nearly $8 billion from 2016. That is a near eight percent increase, with smartphone and tablet gaming seeing a twenty percent increase. The global player base is.. Read More

The Implications of Van Zant v. Pyle on the First Amendment

  In August 2017, the District Court for the Southern District of New York enjoined Cleopatra Films from producing and distributing Street Survivor: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash. The film was going to tell the story of the 1977 airplane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines – two members of the iconic band Lynyrd Skynyrd – and four others. The survivors had consented in 1987 to.. Read More

Time to Wake Up: Comparing Statutory Proposals to Escape Alice’s Looking Glass

By changing the word “art” to “process” in the 1952 Patent Act, Congress introduced one of the first changes to the statutory language of PSM since Thomas Jefferson penned the original in 1793. Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 at 309 (1980). Since then, patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 has remained unaltered by Congress.   However, over 200 years of judicial interpretation led to the development of specially created judicial.. Read More

What Is a Stadium?

Earlier this year, the Atlanta Braves opened SunTrust Park. The development was more than just a new baseball stadium, but also sparked the creation of a 60-acre complex called The Battery Atlanta. The Battery is a mixed-use facility which, when completed, will include a 50,000-square foot entertainment venue, a 16-floor Omni Hotel, a nine-story office tower, as well as numerous restaurants, shops and apartments. This type of mixed-use facility is hardly new, as.. Read More

Eliminating Bail in New Jersey: A Look at the Impact of Technology on Criminal Justice Reform

As technology continues to invade different facets of society, the criminal justice system is no exception. There are many ways in which technology has led to change within the criminal justice system, and one particularly visible way is in the context of bail reform. Numerous jurisdictions have replaced or supplemented traditional money bail with an algorithm that calculates an individual’s risk to decide whether or not to release the accused. And nowhere has.. Read More