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San Francisco Civil Litigation Blog

What are some of the key terms of a licensing agreement?

Those who are involved in the entertainment and intellectual property industries have to be aggressive about protecting their rights. The world is full of willful wrongdoers and those who are ignorant of the law, which can mean that the rights of individuals and businesses can be infringed upon. This can be quite costly by causing damage to one's reputation and good will, as well as his or her profits. The best way to protect these rights is to be aggressive on the front end to secure appropriate agreements to both prevent infringement on certain rights and set the stage for a strong legal claim in the event that infringement occurs.

Oftentimes this starts with skillfully negotiating licensing agreements. In basic terms, a licensing agreement is a contract between parties whereby a property owner allows another to use the property subject to certain terms and conditions. There are a number of key terms to a licensing agreement that must be carefully considered. Those who fail to be detailed in their approach to these terms can be taken advantage of by the other party.

What damages are recoverable for copyright infringement?

We spend a significant amount of time on this blog discussing entertainment law, including copyright law.

The legal protections afforded to copyright holders are significant, but they must be policed to counteract infringement. This can be challenging to do, especially given the variety of ways that misappropriation can occur.

What are some tips for persuading a jury?

Working with trials can be complex. You need to convince a jury that your client is innocent of the crimes they're accused of or that an accident or injury was not their fault. If you're not familiar with going to trial or prefer to settle outside court, the idea of persuading a jury on behalf of your client may seem overwhelming, which is why there are attorneys who specialize in trial cases.

There is simply no question that you have to persuade a jury to win your case. It's not good enough to state the case plainly. You need to simplify the entire trial down into simple elements and organize the evidence in a way that supports your side of the case. You need to help the jury comprehend why your client is innocent or should not be held liable for whatever reason they're in court.

Katy Perry accused of copyright infringement over photo use

Copyright protections are far-reaching. This is great news for those who create a work, but it can spell trouble for those who are unfamiliar with these protections and are accused of misappropriating these works. When this happens, litigation can arise. For a copyright owner, such action is often necessary to protect their creative and financial interests in the work. For those accused of copyright infringement, it means possibly being hit with a judgment that costs them thousands or even millions of dollars. Therefore, matters related to copyright law need to be taken seriously.

This is true in a recent copyright infringement lawsuit involving famed singer Katy Perry. According to reports, she is being sued by Backgrid USA, a celebrity photograph agency, for allegedly misappropriating a photograph the agency took of her wearing a Hillary Clinton Halloween costume. Backgrid claims that Perry posted its photograph on her Instagram page back in 2016, where it remains active today, without licensing the imagine from it before doing so.

Keys for protecting trade secrets

Doing business in the modern world is a complex process, with new and surprising threats emerging constantly. As businesses compete and navigate their industries, trade secret protection becomes more and more important, particularly in an age where stealing proprietary knowledge can happen in seconds.

For many businesses, trade secret security is an enormous issue without a "set it and forget it" solution. Not only must a business establish policies and tools to help keep their trade secrets safe, they must also continually revisit these solutions to address new threats. A strong legal strategy helps ensure that businesses of all sizes have the tools and guidance they need to keep their secrets protected while meeting the needs of their clients.

Civil litigation may be justified in cases of evidence spoliation

It nearly goes without saying that compelling evidence is key to successful litigation. Yet, in order for the law to be administered properly they must be some sort of fairness when it comes to litigation. This is why the parties to a case are allowed to engage in discovery, whereby they learn what evidence their opponent possesses. This allows them to anticipate the other side's argument and prepare accordingly.

Sometimes, though, a party to civil litigation doesn't act fairly. For example, in far too many instances a party may try to hide or destroy evidence. The act of destroying evidence is known as evidence spoliation, and it can take many forms, including erasing electronic data and shredding physical documents that are pertinent to pending litigation. When evidence spoils, an individual's claim may be completely derailed. Although this situation may be to a litigant, he or she may be able to recover compensation for evidence spoliation via tort law claim.

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.

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