Intellectual Property Blog

Copyright Contracts on Workplace Creations Stick – Even for Taylor Swift

Through every news and social platform, a quick search will yield limitless reports (and plenty of gossip) on Taylor Swift’s recent catalog purchase. The man who bought it for $300 million is the owner of her former label — and she is sickened. If there is anything to be learned from Swift’s copyright woes, her ordeal demonstrates the sticking power of copyright contracts on your creative work. According to copyright law, all transactions were officially […]

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Napolean, the Opera, and How Copyright Encourages Creativity

For decades, the argument has been made that artists find inspiration from works in the public domain. Over the last several decades, though, corporations with big money involved in maintaining the copyright registrations to their intellectual property assets have fought hard to have the period of protection – and their rights – extended, keeping many beloved works from entering the public domain.  With each new extension of copyright registrations, there is an outcry against this […]

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How Long Does Copyright Protection Last?

Copyright  registrations provide powerful legal protection. However, a registration does not last forever.  The duration of a copyright registration depends on a number of factors. If you have questions about a specific work, the best course of action is to consult with an intellectual property attorney.  Unpublished vs. Published The first question an intellectual property attorney will ask is whether the work is published or unpublished.  In an era rampant with personal blogging and self-publishing, […]

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Banana Costume Protectable by Copyright, Preliminary Injunction Upheld on A-Peel

Written by Guest Author, Marks Gray Associate Logan McEwen On August 1, 2019, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Silvertop Associates Inc., dba Rasta Imposta v. Kangaroo Manufacturing Inc., 2019 WL 3484240.  At issue was whether the manufacturer of a banana costume was likely to prove copyright infringement by a competing banana costume manufacturer. The trial court entered a preliminary injunction, finding the plaintiff was likely to prove copyright infringement […]

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Court Rules Inaccuracies in a Copyright Application Invalidates the Registration

When it comes to the law, details matter. You need to ensure the accuracy of all information you provide when registering a trademark or filing for copyright. Otherwise, you could find the legal protection of your mark or creative work invalidated due to a technicality. That is what happened to Gold Value International Textile, Inc.’s copyright registration. Here are the facts of this case. Was “1461 Design” Published or Unpublished at the Time of Application? […]

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Copyright Fair Use: Distinction between Parody and Satire

Written by Guest Author, Marks Gray Associate Logan McEwen     In the United States, a copyright-protected work can be utilized without authorization of the copyright owner if it is a “fair use” of the copyright-protected work.  Fair uses of copyright-protected works generally fall into two categories: (i) commentary and criticism, or (ii) parody. The fair use exceptions balance between promoting the creation of art through copyright protection and not inhibiting freedom of speech.  Parody Parodies […]

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