S.D.N.Y

Christmas Comes Early for “Useful Article” Copyright Holder

 

Order Denying Motion and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, Jetmax Ltd. v. Big Lots, Inc. et al., 15-cv-9597 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2017) (Judge Katherine Forrest)

Tricky questions can arise when a person or company attempts to copyright the decorative aspects of a “useful article” that has some practical, nonartistic function.  The questions become trickier still when the decorative aspects of the article are three-dimensional “sculptural” elements, as opposed to two-dimensional words or images.  Judge Katherine Forrest’s recent order in Jetmax Ltd. v. Big Lots, Inc. et al., pending in the Southern District of New York, addresses whether a plaintiff can copyright the decorative cover on a set of Christmas lights.  Note that the “cover” is the physical housing that surrounds the light bulb. READ MORE

Two Recent Decisions Highlight Divergent Extraterritorial Application of Lanham Act and Copyright Act

The question whether and under what circumstances the Lanham Act and the Copyright Act will be applied to conduct occurring at least partially outside the United States grows increasingly important as the world economy continues to globalize and many manufacturers seek to extend their franchises across borders. Two recent federal court decisions have addressed this issue, underscoring the somewhat anomalous differences in extraterritorial enforcement of trade dress and copyright laws, as well as the ability of plaintiffs to obtain injunctive relief with extraterritorial effect. READ MORE