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January 18, 2013
Image taken by Keven Law, Los Angeles, CA and under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License, Wikimedia Commons. In the long-running Superman litigation, the Ninth Circuit has addressed large parts of the dispute.
December 30, 2012
The Ninth Circuit reversed Judge Real in a federal trademark case. After the plaintiff secured a $60 million verdict, the Ninth Circuit vacated the judgment and reversed. Specifically, the court found that Judge Real misstated the law to the jury in several respects regarding fraudulent trademark registrations, and also failed to instruct the jury on the legal basis to challenge an “incontestable” mark.
December 28, 2012
In Management & Engineering Technologies, Inc. v. Information Systems Support, Inc., the plaintiff filed suit for trade secret misappropriation based upon the defendant’s use of the plaintiff’s profit margin and general expense rate information. The jury found that such data could constitute a trade secret because the information was maintained in a vault, was password protected and was marked “confidential.”
October 11, 2012
Under the doctrine of scenes a faire, a court will protect a copyrighted work from infringement if the expression embodied in the work necessarily flows from a commonplace idea. Scenes a faire has been literally translated to “scenes which ‘must’ be done.”
September 10, 2012
The Ninth Circuit recently applied in the software context the rule that absent a written agreement to the contrary, the employer is the author of a work made for hire. Copyrights in software often trigger work for hire and employer-employee agency questions because of the fact that so much software development occurs within corporation or through 1099 independent contractors.