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Eleventh Circuit Takes District Court to School Over Educational Fair-Use Copyright Dispute

In Cambridge Univiversity Press v. Albert, 2018 WL 5095004 (11th Cir. Oct. 19, 2018), the Eleventh Circuit issued its second decision in a decade-long dispute over Georgia State University’s practice of distributing digital excerpts of copyrighted works to students without paying a royalty.  The district court now faces its third trial to assess the fair-use defense as to 48 excerpted...

Laws for the People, By the People, Are Not Copyrightable

A March 23, 2017 order from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia immediately prompted headlines such as “If you publish Georgia’s state laws, you’ll get sued for copyright and lose.”  The case, Code Revision Commission v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 244 F. Supp. 3d 1350 (N.D. Ga. 2017), examined whether the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (“O.C.G.A.”)...

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari on Copyright Issue

The Supreme Court this morning granted certiorari on a circuit split involving the Eleventh Circuit.  The Eleventh Circuit (along with the Eighth) has previously held that the fee provisions of the Copyright Act, which allow recovery of the “full costs” of attendance, do not displace general statutes that limit awards to taxable costs.  Artisan Contractors Ass’n of America, Inc. v....

Defendant Sails to Victory in Trade Secret Case

In Yellowfin Yachts, Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, 2018 WL 3734344 (11th Cir. Aug. 7, 2018), the Eleventh Circuit upheld the dismissal of trade-secret claims related to the manufacture and sale of fishing boats.  Yellowfin Yachts is a manufacturer of high-end fishing boats, allegedly known in the marketplace for the “swept sheer line” of their boats. Yellowfin hired Kevin Barker in...

Foreign Companies Can Acquire U.S. Trademark Rights without Direct Sales to Consumers

Direct Niche, LLC v. Via Varejo S/A, 2018 WL 3687868 (11th Cir. Aug. 3, 2018), emphasizes that foreign companies can acquire trademark and service mark rights in the United States even without selling products directly to consumers domestically.  Instead, contracts with third parties and publication of the mark are sufficient to confer rights.  The Eleventh Circuit recently reaffirmed...

Eleventh Circuit Digs Deep to Revive SCAD Trademark Suit

In an October 3, 2017, opinion, a panel of the Eleventh Circuit reversed the Northern District of Georgia’s grant of summary judgment for the defendant in a trademark-infringement suit brought by Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).  In Savannah College of Art and Design, Inc. v. Sportswear, Inc., 2017 WL 4369451, the court held that the district court erred in concluding that...

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