Serova v. Sony Music Entertainment: Anti-SLAPP Motions and Unfair Competition Law

On August 30, 2018, Sony Music Group (Sony) and Michael Jackson’s estate (Estate) were handed a big win against a class of consumers who had purchased Michael Jackson’s posthumous self-titled album and filed suit against the label and Estate under California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”). The Court of Appeal of California ruled Sony and the Estate’s anti-SLAPP motion to strike was improperly denied by the trial court. (Serova v. Sony Music Entm’t, 26.. Read More

Palin v. New York Times Company: A Potential Change to Defamation Law and Freedom of the Press

The Supreme Court has consistently recognized a profound national commitment to a free press and the “principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964). Nevertheless, the freedom of the press is subject to certain restrictions, including, notably, defamation law. A recent federal defamation suit filed by Sarah Palin against The New York Times in June 2017, Palin v… Read More

Richard Prince, Copyright, and Appropriation Art: A Personal Perspective on Graham v. Prince , 265 F.Supp.3d 366 (S.D.N.Y. 2017)

The purpose of Copyright Law as enumerated by the United States Constitution is to “promote the progress of Science and useful Arts.” Artistic works are protected by copyright so that artists will be incentivized to keep creating. Appropriation art is a style in which the artist takes an existing object and uses it with little to no transformation. Appropriation art seems antithetical to copyright’s original purpose because there is a lesser incentive to.. Read More

Copyright Office Review Board Denies Copyright Registration for Two Corporate Logos

Despite the growing pressure on corporations and organizations to strengthen legal protection of their corporate logos, their attempts to enlarge the utility of copyright law for this purpose have proven futile. Two recent decisions by the Copyright Office Review Board (“CORB”) are particularly illustrative. The first decision concerns the Union des Associations Européennes de Football’s (“UEFA”) “Starball” logo. Comprising a pattern of black stars and white polygons that are “warped” within a white.. Read More

The Federal Circuit Weighs in on CRISPR

Gene editing was once quite difficult.  Though it was not impossible to insert a new sequence of DNA into a bacterium and measure the effects, as recently as a decade ago, the process consumed unsustainably large amounts unlucky graduate students’ time and effort.  In 2012, a groundbreaking paper from the group led by Dr. Jennifer Doudna at the University of California demonstrated that the bacterial immune protein CRISPR Cas-9 could revolutionize gene editing… Read More