Eversheds Sutherland 11th Circuit Business Blog
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Defendant Must Prove that Copied Portion of Copyrighted Work is Unprotectable

In Compulife Software Inc. v. Newman, 2020 WL 2549505 (11th Cir. May 20, 2020), the Eleventh Circuit clarified that a plaintiff, having established that the defendant copied part of a copyrighted work, need not prove that the copied portion was legally protectable; the defendant must prove that it was not.  The court also reviewed the elements of a trade-secret claim under Florida law....

Tax Service’s Registered Trademark’s Suggestiveness Presented Jury Question

In Engineered Tax Services, Inc. v. Scarpello Consulting, Inc., 2020 WL 2478863 (11th Cir. May 14, 2020), the Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded the district court’s grant of summary judgment for Scarpello Consulting in a trademark dispute over the distinctiveness of the service mark “Engineered Tax Services,” citing previous rulings on substantive trademark law and its ...

Supreme Court Upholds Eleventh Circuit Copyright Decision on Legislative Materials

Shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court embarked on its six-day experiment hearing oral arguments by telephone, the Court affirmed the Eleventh Circuit’s judgment in Code Revision Commission v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 906 F.3d 1229 (11th Cir. 2018), aff’d sub nom. Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 140 S. Ct. 1498 (2020)—a copyright case that we previously covered here and here....

Too Late Blues for Guitar Maker’s Copyright Ownership Claims

In Webster v. Dean Guitars, 2020 WL 1887783 (11th Cir. Apr. 16, 2020), the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for a guitar manufacturer in a copyright dispute over the lightning storm graphic on “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott’s iconic guitar, known as “The Dean from Hell.”  The district court properly determined that the gravamen of the copyright...

Supreme Court Will Review Eleventh Circuit’s Decision that Official Code of Georgia Annotated Cannot Be Copyrighted

The Supreme Court yesterday granted certiorari to review the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Code Revision Commission v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 906 F.3d 1229 (11th Cir. 2018), cert. granted, 2019 WL 1047486 (U.S. June 24, 2019). The question presented for review in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc. is whether the principle that “government edicts,” such as statutes and judicial...

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

In Cambridge University 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...

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