Intellectual Property Blog

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 Was “1461 Design” Published or Unpublished at the Time of Application?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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Filing a Copyright Registration for Architectural Works Is Now Easier

In the past, obtaining a copyright registration for architectural works was a long and annoying process. Designers would have to submit physical plans and paper applications to secure the rights to their design. In the digital age, these requirements became even more of a burden.  Fortunately, the US Copyright Office has adjusted its requirements to make filing for architectural works a lot easier. The new rules went into effect on May 23, 2019. What Is […]

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What’s Allowed under Fair Use of Copyright-Protected Work?

Copyright registrations protect owners’ original works from other people reproducing, distributing, displaying, and/or performing the original works or creating derivative works. But the laws surrounding copyright protection are not exactly sealed tight. References to copyright-protected work are all around us, and you can bet that most of those people did not get permission. So when is the use of copyrighted material okay? And when does it cross the line? The United States Copyright Act has […]

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Broadcasters: How to Protect Yourself from Photo Lawsuits

By Edward L. Birk and Crystal T. Broughan In a recent post, we wrote about the fast-paced world of broadcasting, made even faster by the Internet age, and how this has led to the temptation of pulling imagery from websites without confirming copyright and securing proper permission. The reuse of online content is very easy to accomplish. The consequences can be very painful to the bank account. According to Federal court listings, a comparison of […]

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