Monthly Archives: September 2010

Update: Autodesk Owns Your Software

Autodesk owns your software if you (think you) own a copy of AutoCAD, that is. In a reversal of fortune for enterprising eBay seller Timothy Vernor, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated summary judgment of noninfringement, holding that Autodesk’s customers were licensees — not owners — and thus were not entitled to resell their copies under the first sale doctrine.  Vernor v. Autodesk,… More

The DMCA: Less Protection Than Meets The Eye Against Circumvention Of Technological Measures To Prevent Access To Software

The anti-circumvention provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 1201, continues to challenge courts in the context of computer software. Section 1201(a)(1) prohibits “circumvent[ing] a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under” Title 17. 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)(A). A recent decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, relying on a 2004 Federal Circuit decision, holds that in this provision “access”… More

TIFFANY Update: False Advertising Claim Rejected

In what would appear to be the final chapter of the battle between online giant eBay and luxury jeweler Tiffany, a Southern District of New York judge has bounced Tiffany’s false advertising claim, the only claim remaining following a Second Circuit decision earlier this year.

  

On remand, the district court focused on whether eBay’s advertisements about the availability of Tiffany merchandise on its site misled or confused customers since at least some purportedly Tiffany products were counterfeit.… More

Trademark Licensors Beware: You May be on the Hook for Your Licensee’s Defective Products

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has served up a reminder to Massachusetts trademark licensors that they may be subject to liability for injuries caused by defective products bearing their licensed mark, even if they are not the manufacturer or seller of the defective product. Under the "apparent manufacturer" doctrine, a nonseller trademark licensor may be liable for defective products if the licensor "participated substantially" in the design, manufacture or distribution of the products.… More

The Political Parody Problem

In a bid to win the hearts and minds of voters, lately political candidates have touted, among other things, their musical predilections. In at least two recent cases, candidates have sanctioned the alteration of the lyrics, but not the tune, of some of their favorite music to shore up political support. The musicians who own the copyrights in those songs weren’t exactly thrilled.

All They Want To Do Is Campaign

In April 2009,… More