Court Finds Gatorade’s Use of “Sports Fuel Company” Fair Use

(June 18, 2018) Gatorade Company’s slogan “Gatorade the Sport Fuel Company” does not infringe on Sportfuel, Inc.’s trademark “Sportfuel” because Gatorade’s use merely describes the types of products sold and does not signify the source of the products, a federal judge ruled.

Sportfuel, Inc., a Chicago-based sports nutrition and wellness consulting firm founded in 1993, registered the mark “Sportfuel” in 2008 for food nutrition consulting and in 2015 for sports drinks. Gatorade, a Pepsico, Inc. subsidiary, in 2015 ...

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Design Firm’s Action Granted Implied Copyright License

(May 14, 2018) By continuing to provide new designs for six years after an independent contractor agreement expired, a graphic design firm granted an implied license for its work. As a result, it could not sue for copyright infringement.

LimeCoral, Ltd. prepared graphic designs for postings by customers of CareerBuilder, LLC. The parties originally had an independent contractor agreement that provided for a per job payment, in return for which the designs would be the sole and exclusive property of CareerBuilder. ...

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Appellate Court Finds Monkey Lacks Statutory Standing in Copyright Dispute

(April 23, 2018) Not only did Naruto lose its “next friend” PETA, but now it has formally lost its appeal to assert a copyright claim for the famous Monkey Selfies.

The Ninth Circuit found that the crested macaque, as a non-human animal, lacks “statutory standing” to maintain a cause of action for infringement under the U.S. Copyright Act (“Copyright Act”). The case was decided after People for the Ethical Treatment of ...

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News Media Looks to Balough Law Offices for Opinions

(March 17, 2018) The news media has reached out to Balough Law Offices for comments regarding three recent developments in the law.

Cheryl Dancey Balough was interviewed by the Cook County Record regarding whether embedded content in social media violate copyright law. For our story on the case, click here.

Richard C. Balough was interviewed by two reporters for Bloomberg News. The first interview concerned the potential legal issues from the Uber self-driving car fatality. He also was interviewed regarding ...

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License Allows Copying Whether Done in House or at FedEx

(March 27, 2018) Great Minds and FedEx Office and Print Services, Inc. don’t think alike, especially when it comes to copying Great Minds documents.

The non-profit organization designs educational materials, releasing them to the public without charge subject to a Creative Commons license. As long as the user did not charge for the materials, Great Minds did not charge a fee.

In 2015 and early 2016, Great Minds discovered that some FedEx stores in Michigan and New York made copies of their ...

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Website’s Procedures Sufficient for DMCA Safe Harbor Protection

(March 16. 2018) A website that allows anyone to post videos and images, includes in its terms of use a prohibition against posting copyrighted material, and upon notice promptly takes down infringing materials is protected from copyright infringement liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).

Ventura Content, Ltd., which creates and distributes pornographic movies, found 33 clips of its materials on Motherless, Inc.’s website. Ventura did not send a take-down notice to Motherless but instead filed a copyright infringement action. ...

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Court Affirms Nike Did Not Infringe Photo of Michael Jordan

(February 28, 2018) A Nike, Inc.-commissioned photograph of Michael Jordan flying through the air holding a basketball with the Chicago skyline in the background did not infringe the copyright of a photograph of the basketball legend taken by famous photographer Jacobus Rentmeester.

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment in favor of Nike, finding that, while Rentmeester’s ...

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Embedded Links Are Copyright Infringement, Court Finds

(February 20, 2018) The widespread practice of embedding links to images and videos on other sites is copyright infringement, according to a New York U.S. district court.

The court rejected the Ninth and Seventh Circuit’s use of the “server test,” which states there is no copyright infringement as long as the original image remains on the original server.

“The plain language of the Copyright Act, the legislative history undergirding its enactment, and subsequent Supreme Court jurisprudence provide no basis for a ...

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Auto Downloading OK if Other Methods Allowed by Website Terms

(January 9, 2018) Using automated tools to download data from a website contrary to the site’s terms of use does not violate state computer abuse laws if the downloading of the data is otherwise permitted, the Ninth Circuit found.

The appellate court reversed a jury’s finding that Oracle USA, Inc. was entitled to $14.4 million in damages from Rimini Street, Inc. for violating California’s and Nevada’s computer abuse laws that prohibit the unauthorized access to a computer. Oracle’s website terms ...

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Automation May Displace 800 Million Workers by 2030

(December 1, 2017) Between 400 million to 800 million workers worldwide could be displaced by automation and artificial intelligence by 2030 and will need to find new jobs, a new report issued by McKinsey Global Institute finds. Of those displaced, between 75 to 375 million will need to switch occupations as well.

The report notes that automation and artificial intelligence “will generate significant ...

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