This week on The Briefing by the IP Law Blog, Scott Hervey and Josh Escovedo discuss the copyright lawsuit over a Black Mirror episode starring Miley Cyrus, the plot of which filmmaker Geoffrey Blair Hajim said was lifted from his film “Strange Frame: Love and Sax.” View the episode on the Weintraub Tobin YouTube channel, here. Listen to the podcast, available on Apple/Spotify/Stitcher/Google platforms or online here.…
Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of news articles and stories about police officers playing popular music during a citizen/officer interaction that is being filmed by the citizen.  For example, Vice reported on a Beverly Hills police officer breaking out his phone and playing over a minute of Sublime’s “Santeria” when the officer discovered that his interaction with a well-known LA-area activist was being live-streamed by the citizen via Instagram.  Similarly, Mashable reported that an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy played a Taylor Swift song during an encounter.  Why is this happening?  There seems to be a…
In recent years, the Supreme Court has decided a number of cases, including Bilski v. Kappos, Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad, and Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, which involve the limits on patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101.   For example, in Alice, the court stated “[t]he ‘abstract ideas’ category embodies the longstanding rule that an idea of itself is not patentable.” The Supreme Court further recognized that “laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas” are not patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §101. To determine whether claims are patent-eligible the…
In this week’s episode of The Briefing by The IP Law Blog, attorneys Scott Hervey and Josh Escovedo discuss the trademark litigation between Nike and a custom shoe maker, MSCHF (pronounced “Mischief”). In Nike Inc. v MSCHF Product Studio, Inc., Nike sued MSCHF over unauthorized versions of the Nike Air Max 97 featuring satanic imagery. The shoes were tied into marketing by Rapper Lil Nas X, and all 666 pairs created by MSCHF were sold. Watch the episode on YouTube at this link. An audio version of this episode can be found on “The Briefing from the IP Law…
Loud parties, surveillance cameras, and a neighbor dispute? The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District in California was recently faced with these issues in a case involving claims that one neighbor’s use of surveillance cameras violated the other neighbor’s right to privacy. The fact that one of the defendants was comedian, Kathy Griffin, only added to the case’s interest. In the end, the Court sided with Ms. Griffin and her boyfriend in the case: Mezger v. Bick, et al. (decided July 1, 2021). Ms. Griffin and her boyfriend, Randy Ralph Bick, Jr., moved next door to Sandra and…
In this week’s episode, Josh Escovedo and Scott Hervey discuss an update to the litigation over Andy Warhol’s series of portraits of the artist Prince (Andy Warhol Foundation v Goldsmith). They provide a recap of last week’s episode, which covers the Second Circuit decision in favor of Goldsmith, the photographer whose image Warhol used to create the Prince Portraits, and the holding that Warhol’s renditions were not transformative enough to be fair use. That decision overturned a lower court decision in favor of the Warhol Foundation. This week, Scott and Josh discuss the possible impact of the Supreme Court…
Patents protect inventions.  However, patents protect only certain inventions.  In order to be patentable, an invention must fall within one of four categories of patent-eligible subject matter: articles of manufacture, machines, processes, and compositions of matter. 35 U.S.C. §101.  There are some things that are not patentable (i.e. are patent-ineligible subject matter): laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas. In 2014, in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208, 216, 219 (2014), the Supreme Court established a two-part test to determine whether an invention is patent-eligible.  In the first step, a determination is made as…
In this week’s episode, Josh Escovedo and Scott Hervey discuss the litigation over Andy Warhol’s series of portraits of the artist Prince (Andy Warhol Foundation v Goldsmith). Their discussion covers the Second Circuit decision in favor of Goldsmith, the photographer whose image Warhol used to create the Prince Portraits, and the holding that Warhol’s renditions were not transformative enough to be fair use. The decision overturned a lower court decision in favor of the Warhol Foundation. Production Note: This episode includes a discussion of the high-profile litigation between the artist Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press over Fairey’s iconic “Hope”…
The Briefing from the IP Law Blog – What’s in a Name: Clearing Titles for Film and Television In this week’s episode, Scott Hervey and Josh Escovedo discuss the complex process of clearing titles for Film and Television. They discuss recent high-stakes litigation around entertainment titles, including Stouffer v. National Geographic Partners LLC,  Jon Astor-White v. Daniel Strong (Empire), and the “Honey Badger” case. View the video conversation on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3w8Bcjb6__A Or listen to the podcast: https://thebriefing.blubrry.net/2021/06/24/whats-in-a-name-clearing-titles-for-film-and-television/ (or Apple/Spotify/Google platforms).  …
5-4 Opinion Offers Judicial Workaround by Giving More Oversight to the USPTO Director In U.S. v. Arthrex, case number 19-1434; Smith & Nephew v. Arthrex, case number 19-1452; and Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew, case number 19-1458, the Supreme Court of the United States recently held that Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judges are unconstitutionally appointed.  But, the Court also held that providing the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with more oversight over PTAB rulings will remedy the unconstitutionality of the PTAB judges. It was a very divided opinion as the Justices split 5-4…