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San Francisco Civil Litigation Blog

Outside help can prove invaluable for intellectual property cases

The violation of someone's intellectual property rights often involves complex factors and can have a devastating impact on the income of a creator or business. From interstate and international copyright violations to the complexity of pushing back against the fair use or property claim, helping your clients deal with the theft of their intellectual property is more complex than certain other areas of law.

Given that there are typically fewer intellectual property cases than criminal cases or standard personal injury lawsuits in any given jurisdiction, many attorneys don't have the necessary experience handling these complex cases to confidently approach them and win.

Trade secret litigation and non-disclosure agreements

There are many ways to gain a leg up on the competition in the business world. Some businesses are able to appeal to a certain market, while others are able to provide goods or services that are of a higher quality and a cheaper price than their competitors.

How a business gets there can vary on the circumstances, but it often takes a lot of time, work, and dedication. Extensive research and even trial and error can play into obtaining a competitive edge. When a company finds itself relying on a specialized process, technique, or information that it obtained and only it possesses, then it likely has a trade secret.

Peloton sued for extensive copyright infringement

Intellectual property can be quite valuable. One reason is because it can be used over and over again. A book can be read multiple times and adapted into film, movies can be shown in theaters and transferred to DVD and modes of streaming, and songs can be played in concert, recorded, and utilized in film, television, and theater presentations.

While this versatility can render a property quite valuable, intellectual property must be monitored if its owner wants to protect himself against illegal uses.

Trials require creative strategizing and critical thinking

The delivery of a defense can directly impact the outcome of a case, but some people might skimp on this aspect. Anyone who is part of the defense must understand precisely how their actions can affect the defendant.

One of the most important things to remember when you are presenting a defense is that perception is the priority. You have to think like the jurors who are sitting on the panel. This requires creative thinking in some cases because no two juries are exactly alike.

Forever 21 accused of multiple intellectual property violations

Contractual arrangements can give rise to significant opportunities for those in the entertainment industry. However, because there is often so much at stake, the negotiation process can be long and difficult. In many instances, the parties simply can't come to an agreement. Far too often in these instances, one of the parties acts in a way that still violates the other's rights.

For example, Ariana Grande recently filed a lawsuit against clothing retailer Forever 21 for alleged copyright and trademark infringement, as well as violations against her right of publicity after contract negotiations stall. According to reports, the singer had been in talks with the daughters of Forever 21's founder regarding her endorsement of a line of makeup.

Opening statements and closing arguments

Even if you take the necessary steps in appropriately preparing for trial, you're sure to run into some challenges along the way. Fortunately, if you're working closely with an experienced legal team in San Francisco, you'll always have someone on your side that can show you the way.

While there are many aspects of a jury trial, opening statements and closing arguments are among the most important.

Cardi B sued for allegedly violating man's right to publicity

With our ever-expanding digitized world it may seem like our privacy is going by the wayside. While that may be true to a certain extent, there are still laws in place that can protect individuals' likenesses from being misappropriated for financial gain. However, these protections are not self-effectuating. Instead, individuals need to take active efforts to ensure they are protecting their right to utilize their likeness and personality.

A recently filed case helps illustrate this issue. There, famed rapper Cardi B is accused of using a using a man's likeness on her album cover without his consent. The cover of the photo album shows a man with a distinctive tattoo on his back performing a sexual act on the rapper. The man who has filed the claim says that he has never met Cardi B and is troubled that he may be associated with the album and its cover. He therefore claims that the rapper violated his right to publicity. He seeks $5 million in damages.

Key considerations in digital evidence management

Finding evidence alone is not always enough to be successful in a case. All evidence must be carefully analyzed, categorized and managed so that the most compelling evidence can be used efficiently. As digital technology becomes more advanced, it can be possible to manage this evidence digitally. This makes it easier to quickly retrieve certain pieces of evidence, and it also means that potentially thousands of pieces of evidence can be analyzed for trends and significance.

If you are using or considering using digital evidence software, you must pay attention to the following considerations. Digital software needs competent direction from its users, and informed decisions must be made so that integrity can be maintained.

Music industry reeling after Katy Perry copyright verdict

Songwriters, producers, entertainment lawyers and other people in the music industry have reacted with disbelief at the verdict in a recent copyright lawsuit against the pop star Katy Perry. Last month, a jury found that Perry and her co-writers had infringed on the copyright of Christian rapper Flame when they wrote Perry's 2013 hit "Dark Horse."

The lawsuit alleged that "Dark Horse" lifts a brief, minor-key musical phrase from Flame's song "Joyful Noise," which was a hit on Christian radio a few years earlier. In the trial, Perry claimed she had never heard Flame's song, and her lawyers tried to argue that the two songs were not substantially similar. The jury disagreed, and awarded Flame $550,000 in damages.

Senate considers aggressive law to deal with streaming piracy

Many of us remember a time not long ago when peer-to-peer file sharing sites like Napster threatened to financially ruin the music industry. While the law has clamped down on illegal downloading for copyright violations, the market has changed in response. Although illegal downloads have dwindled over recent years, many Americans are now turning to streaming piracy. Many view this practice as harmless, but the truth of the matter is that it still violates the rights of entertainers and copyright holders.

Streaming piracy is a criminal offense, but it is only charged as a misdemeanor, which is a significantly less serious than the offense of downloading piracy. Fortunately, this discrepancy has caught the eyes of lawmakers. In fact, A Senate committee recently sent a letter to the U.S. Copyright Office seeking guidance on its view of illegal streaming services. Responding to that letter, the U.S. Copyright office indicated that it believed that illegal streaming violates copyright holders' right to public performance. It also voiced concern over how illegal streaming may infringe upon a copyright holder's right to control reproduction and distribution.

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