Reposted from Intellectual Property and Technology News

By Brian Biggs, Stan Panikowski, and Andrew N. Stein



Patent: Decided: June 3, 2014

Holding: In a unanimous (9-0) opinion authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court held that the Federal Circuit’s indefiniteness standard bred “lower court confusion” because it “lack[ed] the precision § 112, ¶2” demands.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Corner – Q3 2014

By Edward Chatterton and Horace Lam


On June 6, 2014, the fourth draft version of the new PRC Copyright Law (New Law) was published for public comment, having first been published in 2010. The period for public comment ended on July 5, 2014 meaning the implementation of the New Law is drawing ever closer.

The overall aim of the New Law is to rationalize the existing PRC Copyright Law (Existing Law), bringing it in line with other developed copyright laws around the world. This update focusses on the key changes the New Law will introduce and the practical consequences for rights owners, assuming that the New Law is implemented as currently drafted.  

Continue Reading AMENDMENTS TO THE PRC COPYRIGHT LAW ….the practical implications for rights owners

Reposted from Intellectual Property and Technology Alert

Shortly after its highly publicized loss before the US Supreme Court, which appeared to doom its over-the-air television Internet streaming business, New York-based Aereo shifted to a new legal strategy which it hopes will save its business from extinction. 

Aereo has asserted in federal district court that it is entitled to a compulsory license to carry over-the-air broadcasts under § 111 of the Copyright Act.  Such a license, which is available to cable systems, could be a complete defense to copyright infringement claims by broadcasters.  Aereo bases its claim on the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Aereo service is “highly similar” to that of a cable system.  


By David M. Kramer and Rachelle M. Llontop

Guest blog post by Rachelle M. Llontop. Rachelle is a summer associate in the Washington, DC office of DLA Piper. She attends the American University Washington College of Law and will graduate in 2015.

Earlier today the United States Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit’s decision in WNET, et. al v. Aereo, Inc., holding that Aereo’s streaming television service infringes copyright holders’ exclusive right to perform a copyrighted work publicly under the Transmit Clause of the Copyright Act of 1976.  The high-profile case stemmed from Aereo’s service, which functioned by using thousands of tiny antennae to receive over-the-air television broadcasts. The signal received by each individual antenna was then retransmitted to a specific subscriber over the Internet.  Plaintiffs, a collection of several networks, filed for a preliminary injunction against Aereo, claiming that Aereo’s retransmissions were a prohibited public performance of copyrighted works.  On April 1, 2013, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s denial of plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction.

Continue Reading Aereo Loses the Supreme Court Battle

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Sports, Media and Entertainment Blog

By Matt Ganas and Sam Churney

As part of a concerted effort to assess the effectiveness of existing methods of licensing music, the US Copyright Office has published a request in the Federal Register for public comment on a number of copyright issues. This request relates to an ongoing congressional review and a potential overhaul of the US Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101, et. seq. (the “Act”),  in view of technological developments that continue to shape music industry practices in the digital age.  According to the Copyright Office, information gathered during the public comment period will be reported to Congress for consideration of possible revisions to the Act.

Continue Reading U.S. Copyright Office Calls For Public Comment on Music Licensing

UK: Court of Appeal rules that PRS agreement covers future assigned works


By Bethan Lloyd

The Court of Appeal (the Court) recently ruled that a clause in a PRS agreement with two composers, which transferred future rights in works which a composer “may acquire or own” would work to give PRS rights over future works, even those which purported to vest in a third party on creation. 

Continue Reading UK: Court of Appeal rules that PRS agreement covers future assigned works

By John Wilks and Ruth Hoy

A UK High Court claim filed this week by the Ministry of Sound record label against music streaming site Spotify raises some interesting issues around the originality threshold for copyright works.

The claim, which was reported in the Guardian, alleges that the Ministry’s track listings (each a compilation of tracks by different artists) are copyright works in their own right. The Ministry allege that such copyright is infringed by playlists made available by Spotify which reproduce their compilation track listings.

Continue Reading Ministry Claim Spotted Raising Original Copyright Issues

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Sports, Media and Entertainment Blog

By Frank Ryan, Richard Flaggert, Matthew Ganas and Rebecca Smock

On May 21, 2013, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the First Amendment does not shield Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) from right of publicity violations alleged in connection with its depiction of college-athlete “avatars” in its series of NCAA Football videogames. Ryan Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. 11-3750, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10171 (3d Cir. 2013).

As a matter of first impression for the Third Circuit, the Hart case involves the complex intersection of First Amendment protections and the publicity rights of individuals. By determining that plaintiff Ryan Hart’s publicity rights trump First Amendment considerations in this instance, a Third Circuit majority panel reversed the US District Court of New Jersey’s prior grant of summary judgment in EA’s favor and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.

Continue Reading Third Circuit Rejects EA’s First Amendment Defense to College Athletes’ Right of Publicity Claims