Archive for: US law

Internet domains, case I ACa 272/06

February 8th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Appellate Court in Katowice in its judgment of 16 June 2006 case file I ACa 272/06 ruled that it is pointless to talk about the “ownership” of Internet domains, because the civil law sets the property rights in Article 140 of the Civil Code, which only refers to tangibles, and domains are not such things, and further, due to the closed list of property rights in intangibles (the so-called numerus clasus of IP rights – the principle that the system of estates allows only a limited number of property rights available in a legal system), there are no regulations in the Polish law, which suggests that the effect of registering Internet domain names is, to acquire by the subscriber, the right to use and dispose of the domain. The agreement between the subscriber and the Internet domain registrar is a contract to provide telecommunications services within the meaning of Article 1(1) of the Polish Act of 16 July 2000 on Telecommunications Law – TLA – (in Polish: Prawo telekomunikacyjne), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 171, item 1800 with subsequent amendments. The subscriber may transfer his or her claims (contractual claims against the registrar) to another entity, if it comes with the assumption of debt from subscriber fees.

I realize that this differs significantly from the US law. Easpecially if you read Kremen v. Cohen, 335 F.3d 1035, (9th Cir. 2003).

The parties do not dispute that domain names are a kind of property. This proposition appears to be consistent with California’s broad definition of “property.” See Cal. Civ.Code §§ 654 & 655(property includes “all inanimate things which are capable of appropriation or of manual delivery”). The parties disagree, however, whether a domain name like is the kind of intangible property that can support a claim for conversion. At issue is whether such intangible property constitutes a sufficiently definite right and whether such intangible property must also be merged into a document or other writing.

Same opinions were issued in Harrods, Ltd. v. Sixty Internet Domain Names, 302 F.3d 214 (4th Cir. 2002), Caesars World, Inc. v. Caesars-Palace.Com, 112 F. Supp. 2d 502 (E.D. Va. 2000) or In re Larry Koenig & Assoc., 2004 WL 3244582 (Bankr. M.D. La. 2004). But there are also different judgments such as Dorer v. Arel, 60 F. Supp. 2d 558 (E.D. Va. 1999), Zurakov v., Inc., 304 A.D.2d 176, 760 N.Y.S.2d 13 (1st Dep’t 2003), Network Solutions, Inc. v. Umbro International, Inc., 259 Va. 759, 529 S.E.2d 80 (2000) and the latest I know which is Palacio del Mar Homeowners Assn., Inc. v. McMahon, — Cal.Rptr.3d —, 2009 WL 1668294 (Cal. App. 4 Dist. June 16, 2009). The Court ruled that a domain name registration is not property, but merely supplies the intangible contractual right to use a unique domain name for a specified period of time. Does it sound familiar to you?

See also “Polish case law on domain names“.

Patent law, case VI SA/Wa 2566/08

October 13th, 2009, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 10 June 2009 case file VI SA/Wa 2566/08 held that it is up to the Polish Patent Office (PPO) to reconsider the matter in its entirety and refer to the statements and allegations contained in the request for the reconsideration of the case, taking into account the above guidance and administrative procedures by which the PPO is bound.

Looks like no big deal, right? But if you could read the whole judgment, which unfortunately is not available in English, you would understand that the Polish Patent Office will have to issue an opinion, and will have to justify and explain it appropriately, on the subject what is an invention and what is a computer program and why the PPO does not grant patents to so-called “digital” solutions.

In this context, I look forward to the EPO decision in G 3/08 case and to the SCOTUS’ judgment In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943, 88 U.S.P.Q.2d 1385 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

Copyright law, case I ACr 590/95

September 12th, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Appellate Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 12 December 1995 case file I ACr 590/95, published in OSA 1997, No 3, item 16, at page 32, held that benefits are generally a part of the net profit achieved as a result of copyright infringement. Looking at this issue from the comparative perspective, it is worth mentioning, that the No Electronic Theft Act (Pub. L. No. 105-147, 111 Stat. 2678 (Dec. 16, 1997)) introduced changes into 17 U.S.C § 101. Definitions.

The term “financial gain” includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.

According to the Polish Court, the benefits are also the savings on expenses for copyright fees, if the copyright infringement was based on the use of work without a proper remuneration. Interesting approaches in two different jurisdictions. I just need to remind you that the Republic of Poland is not a common law country.

See also “Polish regulations on copyright” and “Polish case law on copyright“.

Personal rights, case I ACa 385/2006

July 31st, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

Update on Februrary 27, 2010.
I reported on a final judgment in Justyna Steczkowska’s case in my post entitled “Personal rights, case I ACa 1176/09“.

My post that was written in Polish language is too long and probably boring for most of you. It concerns Justyna Steczkowska’s naked pictures taken during her holiday at Turkish Rivera and being published by “Super Express”, which is one of many Polish tabliods. I also wrote about some comments that were posted by Polish lawyers regarding the right of privacy issue and I wanted to write a comparative note about American and Polish legal systems but I am way too busy for such undertaking. I can only tell you that Maciej Ślusarek, an attorney representing Justyna Steczkowska, will have easier case in Poland as opposed to the US legal reality. Mr. Ślusarek previously won a case against “Super Express” publisher and editor-in-chief. It was a very important judgment of the Appellate Court in Warsaw of 29 September 2006 case file I ACa 385/2006. Mr. Ślusarek represented another Polish singer Edyta Górniak. The Court held that there is a need to distinguish the persons carrying out the public functions, if a person due to the character of those functions might be subjected to public control and the openness of their life is justified by the important society interest, from the commonly known persons, who are not subjected to such intense public control. The distinction included in court’s ruling is of course of great importance for protection limitations established for such persons.

The protection of personal image/publicity rights is provided in Article 23 of the Civil Code – CC – (in Polish: Kodeks Cywilny) of 23 April 1964, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 16, item 93, with subsequent amendments. This provision outlines the personal image as one of the personal property/interests – an intangible personal right. Furthermore, a person who would like to claim an infringment of his/her rights might also exercise the civil protection of personal image afforded by provisions of the Polish Act of 4 February 1994 on Authors Rights and Neighbouring Rights – ARNR – (in Polish: ustawa o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 24, item 83, consolidated text of 16 May 2006, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 90, item 631 with subsequent amendments.

Article 81.
1. The dissemination of an image shall require the permission of the person presented in that image. Unless there is a clear reservation, such permission shall not be required if such person has received the agreed price for posing.
2. The permission shall not be required for the dissemination of the image:
1) of a commonly known person, if such image has been made in connection with his/her performance of public functions and, in particular, political, social or professional functions,
2) of a person constituting only a detail of a whole, such as a meeting, a landscape, or a public event.
Article 83.
The provisions of Article 78, paragraph 1 shall apply respectively to claims brought due to the dissemination of the image of the person presented in it and the dissemination of correspondence without the required permission of the person to whom it was addressed; such claims may not be asserted after the lapse of twenty years from the death of that person.

Additional protection is also provided in the Act of 26 January 1984 on Press Law, the Criminal Code and the Act of 29 August 1997 on Protection of Personal Data. The protection of privacy and publicity may also derive from the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997.

Article 47
Everyone shall have the right to legal protection of his private and family life, of his honour and good reputation and to make decisions about his personal life.
Article 54
1. The freedom to express opinions, to acquire and to disseminate information shall be ensured to everyone.
2. Preventive censorship of the means of social communication and the licensing of the press shall be prohibited. Statutes may require the receipt of a permit for the operation of a radio or television station.

And, of course, from the European Convention on Human Rights of 4 November 1950.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 805/05

June 3rd, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 22 February 2006, case file VI SA/Wa 805/05 held that trade marks that are meant as signs for clothes (among other things for pants) resemble to each other to the extent that it may lead into the confusion of a consumer as regard to origin of goods in the regular course of trade, as defined in the article 9 sec. 1 pt 1 and pt 2 of the Act of 31 January 1985 on Trade marks, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 5, item 17 with subsequent amendments.

R-131312.jpg US TM 1139254

Such situation happened because both trade marks include horizontal seams crossing down the pocket which in its shapes reasemble seagull’s (eagle) wings, and where such element is simultaneously predominant for both signs.

US case law on computers and IT

February 28th, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

Last updated on 16 January 2010.

This short compilation of US computer (IT, Internet, cyberlaw, telecommunication) case law will be also available and under later developement on my new Wiki system.

I. Jurisdiction
II. Contracts
III. Trespass to chattels
IV. Intellectual Property
V. Regulating content and speech
VI. Privacy
VII. Computer and Internet crimes
VIII. E-government
IX. Litigation


A. Specific jurisdiction.

B. General jurisdiction

C. Criminal analogy

D. Enforcement

  • Louis Feraud Int’l S.A.R.L. v. Viewfinder Inc., 406 F. Supp. 2d 274 (S.D.N.Y. 2005).


A. Browserwrap licenses

  • Pollstar v. Gigmania Ltd., 170 F. Supp. 2d 974 (D. Cal. 2000).
  • Specht v. Netscape Communs. Corp., 150 F. Supp. 2d 585 (S.D.N.Y. 2001).
  • Ticketmaster Corp. v. Tickets.Com, Inc., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12987 (D. Cal. 2000).
  •, Inc. v. Verio, Inc., 126 F. Supp. 2d 238 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).
  • Comb v. Paypal, Inc., 218 F. Supp. 2d 1165 (D. Cal. 2002).
  • Cairo, Inc. v. Crossmedia Servs., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8450 (D. Cal. 2005).

B. Shrinkwrap and clikwrap licenses

C. Terms Of Service

  • Oestreicher v. Alienware Corp., 502 F. Supp. 2d 1061 (D. Cal. 2007)

D. Software licenses

E. FLOSS licenses

  • Computer Assocs. Int’l v. Quest Software, Inc., 333 F. Supp. 2d 688 (D. Ill. 2004).
  • Planetary Motion, Inc. v. Techsplosion, Inc., 261 F.3d 1188 (11th Cir. 2001).
  • Progress Software Corp. v. MySQL AB, 195 F. Supp. 2d 328 (D. Mass. 2002).
  • SCO Group, Inc. v. International Business Machines Corp., Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2005 WL 318784 (D.Utah, 2005).
  • Wallace v. Free Software Found., Inc., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53003 (D. Ind. 2006).
  • Wallace v. IBM, 467 F.3d 1104 (7th Cir. 2006).

F. Contractual and statutory liability for defective software

  • Kaczmarek v. Microsoft Corp., 39 F. Supp. 2d 974 (N.D. Ill. 1999).
  • In re AOL, Inc. Version 5.0 Software Litig., 168 F. Supp. 2d 1359 (S.D. Fla. 2001).
  • In re SONY BMG CD Technologies Litigation, 2005 U.S. Dist. Ct. Motions 9575, 2006 U.S. Dist. Ct. Motions LEXIS 9329, (S.D.N.Y. 2006).

G. Auction sites and contracts

  • Perez v. Hung Kien Luu, 2007 Tex. App. LEXIS 8670 (Tex. App. 2007)


A. Trespass involving spam

  • Compuserve Inc. v. Cyber Promotions, 962 F. Supp. 1015 (D. Ohio 1997).
  • America Online v. LCGM, Inc., 46 F. Supp. 2d 444 (D. Va. 1998).

B. Trespass to online databases


A. Copyright
1. Protection of computer software

2. Reverse engineering, technological protection measures, anti-circumventions (17 U.S.C. §§ 1201-1204)

3. Different copyright infringement issues (civil actions, DMCA, websites)

  • L.A.Times v. Free Republic, 54 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1453, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5669 (D. Cal. 2000).
  • Umg Recordings v., Inc., 92 F. Supp. 2d 349 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).
  • A&M Records v. Napster, 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001).
  • MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 545 U.S. 913 (2005).
  • Tur v. Youtube, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50254 (D. Cal. 2007).
  • Biosafe-One, Inc. v. Hawks, 524 F. Supp. 2d 452 (D.N.Y. 2007).

4. Derivative Works issues (framing, deep links)

  • Futuredontics, Inc. v. Applied Anagramics, 45 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 2005, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2265 (C.D. Cal. 1998).
  • Ticketmaster Corp. v., Inc., 54 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1344, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4553 (C.D. Cal. 2000).
  • Intellectual Reserve, Inc. v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry, Inc., 75 F. Supp. 2d 1290 (D. Utah 1999).
  • Digital Equip. Corp. v. AltaVista Tech., 960 F. Supp. 456 (D. Mass. 1997).
  • Nissan Motor Co. v. Nissan Computer Corp., 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 33937 (9th Cir. 2000).

5. Communication Act, satellite programming

B. Trademarks (domain names and unfair competition, search engines and trademarks, keywords)
1. Domain names as trademarks

2. Cybersquatting

3. Free speech and fair use of trademarks in domain names

C. Databases

D. Patents (software patents and business models patents)

E. Trade secrets


A. Pornography

B. Defamation and information torts

C. Spam

D. Liability of internet service providers

VI. PRIVACY (cookies, adware, spyware)

A. Cookies, adware

  • In re Doubleclick Privacy Litig., 154 F. Supp. 2d 497 (S.D.N.Y. 2001).
  • In re Intuit Privacy Litig., 138 F. Supp. 2d 1272 (C.D. Cal. 2001).
  • Directv, Inc. v. Jae Sun Chin, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15815 (W.D. Tex. 2003).

B. Spyware

  • Specht v. Netscape Communs. Corp., 150 F. Supp. 2d 585 (S.D.N.Y. 2001).
  • Specht v. Netscape Communs. Corp., 306 F.3d 17 (2d Cir. 2002).
  • Sotelo v. DirectRevenue, LLC, 384 F. Supp. 2d 1219 (N.D. Ill. 2005).

C. Other issues
1. Posting different types of information

  • Michaels v. Internet Entertainment Group, 5 F. Supp. 2d 823 (D. Cal. 1998).
  • In the Matter of Geocities, 127 F.T.C. 94 (F.T.C 1999).
  • Remsburg v. Docusearch, Inc., 149 N.H. 148 (N.H. 2003).
  • Topheavy Studios, Inc. v. Doe, 2005 Tex. App. LEXIS 6462 (Tex. App. 2005).
  • John Doe No. 1 v. Cahill, 884 A.2d 451 (Del. 2005).
  • Federal Trade Commission, Gateway Learning Corporation; Analysis to Aid Public Comment, 69 Fed. Reg. 42176, (July 14, 2004).
  • Lambert v. Hartman, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 4019 (6th Cir. 2008).

2. Data retention and interception (administrative, civil and criminal aspects)


A. Hacking (system breach and/or data manipulation, etc.)

  • State v. McGraw, 480 N.E.2d 552 (Ind. 1985).
  • State v. Riley, 121 Wn.2d 22 (Wash. 1993).
  • Thrifty-Tel, Inc. v. Bezenek, 46 Cal. App. 4th 1559 (Cal. Ct. App. 1996).
  • United States v. Sablan, 92 F.3d 865 (9th Cir. 1996).
  • Sherman & Co. v. Salton Maxim Housewares, Inc., 94 F. Supp. 2d 817 (E.D. Mich. 2000).
  • Thurmond v. Compaq Computer Corp., 171 F. Supp. 2d 667 (D. Tex. 2001).
  • United States v. Ivanov, 175 F. Supp. 2d 367 (D. Conn. 2001).
  • Guin v. Brazos Higher Educ. Serv. Corp., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4846 (D. Minn. 2006).
  • In the Matter of BJ’S Wholesale Club, Inc., 2005 FTC LEXIS 134 (F.T.C 2005).
  • United States v. Heckenkamp, 482 F.3d 1142 (9th Cir. 2007).

B. Dos, DDoS, botnets

  • Tyco Int’l (US) Inc. v. Doe, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25136 (S.D.N.Y. 2003).
  • United States v. Ancheta, case No.2:05CR01060, unpublished (C.D. Cal. 2006).

C. Viruses, worms, trojans, timebombs

D. IP crimes

  • United States v. Lambert, 446 F. Supp. 890 (D. Conn. 1978).
  • United States v. LaMacchia, 871 F. Supp. 535 (D. Mass. 1994).
  • Arista Records, Inc. v. MP3Board, Inc., 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11392, Copy. L. Rep. (CCH) P28,658 (S.D.N.Y. 2003).
  • United States v. Hsu, 40 F. Supp. 2d 623 (D. Pa. 1999).

E. Digital espionage, carding, e-banking robbery, online wars

F. Pornography

G. Other

  • People v. Fernino, 2008 NY Slip Op 28044, 1 (N.Y. Misc. 2008).

VIII. E-government (e-administration, e-voting, technological neutrality of the state, open standards) issues

  • Online Policy Group v. Diebold, Inc., 337 F. Supp. 2d 1195 (D. Cal. 2004).

IX. Litigation (e-evidences etc.)

  • Bakhtiari v. Lutz, 507 F.3d 1132 (8th Cir. 2007).

US case law on copyright

February 20th, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

Here is a short list of US copyright case law which I did couple of months ago based on books I learnt from. I’ll try to add links and comments later. I will also prepare a Wiki page about this subject matter.

I. Concept of Copyright
II. Copyrightable Subject Matter
III. Ownership
IV. Formalities
V. Exclusive Rights
VI. Fair Use
VII. Enforcement of Copyright
VIII. Federal Preemption of State Law
IX. International Dimensions of Copyright


A. General Principles of the U.S. copyright

B. Patents and copyright

C. Trademarks and copyright

  • Fredrick Warne & Co. v. Book Sales, Inc., 481 F. Supp. 1191 (S.D.N.Y. 1979).

D. Chattels

E. Term of copyright protection

  • Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186 (2003).

F. Copyright to “orphan works”

G. Copyright misuse doctrine versus competition law


A. Original Works of Authorship

  • Feist Publication, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service, 499 U.S. 340 (1991).
  • Magic Marketing v. Mailing Services Of Pittsburgh, 634 F. Supp. 769 (W.D.Pa. 1986).
  • Sebastian Int’l, Ind. v. Consumer Contacts (PTY) Ltd., 664 F. Supp.909 (D.N.J. 1987), rev’d on the other grounds, 847 F.2d 1093 (3d Cir. 1988).

B. The Ideal/Expression Dichotomy

  • Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99 (1879).
  • Morrisey v. Procter & Gamble Co., 379 F.2d 675 (1st Cir. 1967).
  • Lotus Development Corp. v. Borland International, Inc., 49 F.3d 807 (1st Cir. 1995), aff’d by an equally divided court, 516 U.S 233 (1996).
  • American Dental Association v. Delta Dental Plans Association, 126 F.3d 977 (7th Cir 1997).
  • Bibbero Systems, Inc. v. Colwell Systems, Inc., 893 F.2d 1104 (9th Cir. 1990).
  • Continental Casualty Co. v. Beardsley, 253 F. 2d 702 (2nd Cir.), certoriari denied, 358 U.S. 816 (1958).

C. Facts and Compilation

  • Feist Publication, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service, 499 U.S. 340 (1991).
  • Rockford Map Publishers, Inc. v. Directory Services Co., 768 F.2d 145 (7th Cir. 1985).
  • Nash v. CBS, 899 F.2d 1537 (7th Cir. 1990).
  • Wainwright Securities v. Wall Street Transcript Corp., 558 F.2d 91 (2d Cir. 1977).
  • Roth Greeting Cards v. United Card Co., 429 F.2d 1106 (9th Cir. 1970).
  • Atari Games Corp. v. Oman, 979 F.2d 242 (D.C.Cir. 1992).
  • Mathew Bender & Co. v. West Publishing Co., 158 F.3d 674 (2d Cir. 1998).
  • West Publishing Co. v. Mead Data Central, Inc., 799 F.2d 1219 (8th Cir. 1986).
  • CCC Information Services v. Maclean Hunter Market Reports, Inc., 44 F.3d 61 (2d Cir. 1994).
  • BellSouth advertising & Publishing Corp. v. Donnelley Information Publishing, Inc., 999 F.2d 1436 (11th Cir. 1993).
  • Mason v. Montgomery Data, Inc., 967 F.2d 135 (5th Cir. 1992).
  • CDN .v Kapes, CDN Inc. v. Kapes, 197 F.3d 1256 (9th Cir. 1999).

D. Derivative Work

  • Batlin & Son v. Snyder, 536 F.2d 486 (2d Cir. 1976).
  • Maljack Productions, Inc. v. UAV Corp., 964 F. Supp. 1416 (C.D. Cal. 1997).

E. Computer Programs

  • Apple Computer, Inc. v. Franklin Computer Corp., 714 F.2d 1240 (3d Cir. 1983).
  • Data General Corp. v. Grumman Systems, 825 F. Supp. 340 (D. Mass. 1993).
  • Lotus Development Corp. v. Borland International Inc., 49 F.3d 807, 34 USPQ2d 1014 (1st Cir. 1995).
  • Computer Assocs. Int’l, Inc. v. Altai, Inc., 982 F.2d 693 (2d Cir. 1992).

F. Pictorial, Graphic and Sculptural work

  • Masquerade Novelty Inc. v. Unique Industries, 912 F.2d 663 (3rd Cir. 1990)
  • Superior Form Builders, Inc v. Dan Chase Taxidermy Supply Co., 74 F.3d 488 (4th Cir. 1995), certoriari denied, 519 U.S. 809 (1996).
  • Satava v. Lovry, 323 F.3d 805 (9th Cir. 2003).

G. Separability

  • Keiseltein Cord v. accessories By pearl., Inc., 632 F.2d 989 (2d Cir. 1980).
  • Carol Banhart Inc. v. Economy Cover Corp., 773 F.2d 411 (2d Cir. 1985).

H. Architectural Works

  • Demetriades v. Kaufmann, 680 F. Supp. 658 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).

I. Characters

  • Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp., 45 F.2d 119 (2d Cir. 1930).
  • Warner Bros., Inc. v. Columbia Broadcasting System, 216 F.2d 945 (9th Cir. 1954).
  • Anderson v. Stallone 11 U.S.P.Q.2D 1161 (C.D. Cal. 1989).
  • Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates, 581 F.2d 751 (9th Cir. 1978).
  • Detectives Comics, Inc. v. Bruns Publishing, Inc., 111 F.2d 432 (2d Cir. 1940).
  • Gaiman v. McFarlane, 360 F.3d 644 (7th Cir. 2004).

J. TV formats

  • Barris/Fraser Enterprises v. Goodson-Todman Enterprise, 1988 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146, 5 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1887 (S.D.NY. 1988).
  • CBS Broad., Inc. v. ABC, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20258 (S.D.N.Y. 2003).

K. Sound recordings (sampling)

  • Grand Upright Music, Ltd v. Warner Brothers Records, Inc., 780 F.Supp. 182 (S.D.N.Y. 1991).
  • Newton v. Diamond, 349 F.3d 591 (9th Cir. 2003).
  • Newton v. Diamond, 388 F.3d 1189 (9th Cir. 2004).

L. Government Works

  • County of Suffolk v. First Am. Real Estate Solutions, 261 F.3d 179 (2d Cir. 2001).
  • Veeck v. S. Bldg. Code Cong. Int’l, 293 F.3d 791 (5th Cir. 2002).

M. Morality and public policy in granting copyright protection

  • Belcher v. Tarbox, 486 F.2d 1087 (9th Cir. 1973).
  • Mitchell Bros. Film Group v. Cinema Adult Theater, 604 F.2d 852 (5th Cir. 1979).
  • Devils Films, Inc. v. Nectar Video, 29 F. Supp. 2d 174 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).
  • Tunick v. Safir, 209 F.3d 67 (2d Cir. 2000).

N. Other

  • Open Source Yoga Unity v. Choudhury, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10440, 74 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1434, Copy. L. Rep. (CCH) P28 (D. Cal. 2005).


A. Initial Ownership

  • Adrien v. Southern Ocean County Chamber Of Commerce, 927 F.2d 132 (3d Cir. 1991).

B. Works Made For Hire

  • Community For Creative Non-Violence v. Reid, 490 U.S 730, 109 S. Ct 2166, 104 L. Ed 811 (1989).
  • Aymes v. Bonelli, 980 F.2d 857 (2d Cir. 1992).
  • Carter v. Helmsley- Spear, Inc., 71 F.3d 77 (2d Cir. 1995), 116 U.S 1824 (1996).

C. Joint Works

  • Thomas v. Larson, 147 F.3d 195 (2d Cir. 1998).

D. Transfer of Copyright Ownership

  • Effects Associates v. Cohen, 908 F.2d 555 (9th Cir. 1990), cert denied, 498 U.S. 1103 (1991).
  • Cohen v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 845 F.2d 851 (9th Cir. 1998).
  • Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, Ltd. v. Walt Disney Co., 145 F.3d 481 (2d Cir. 1998).
  • Fantasy, Inc v. Fogerty, 654 F. Supp. 1129 (N.D. Cal. 1987).

E. Renewals and Derivative Works

  • Stewart v. Abend, 495 U.S. 207, 110S. Ct. 1750, 109 L. Ed.2d 184 (1990).
  • Russell v. Price, 612 F.2d 1123 (9th Cir 1979).


  • Estate Of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. v. CBS, Inc., 13 F. Supp. 2d 1347 (N.D.Ga. 1998).
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences v. Creative House Promotions, Inc., 944 F.2d 1446 (9th Cir. 1991).
  • Hasbro Bradely, Inc. v. Sparkle Toys, Inc., 780 F.2d 189 (2d Cir.1985).


A. Right to make copies

  • Mathew Bender & Co. v. West Publishing Co., 158 F.3d 674 (2d Cir 1998).
  • Arnstein v. Porter, 154 F.2d 464 (2d Cir. 1946), cert. Denied, 330 U.S 851 (1947).
  • Dawson v. Hinshaw Music, Inc., 905 F.2d 731 (4th Cir.), cert. Denied, 498 U.S. 981 (1990) .
  • Bright Tunes Music Corp. v. Harrisongs Music, Ltd., 420 F. Supp. 177 (S.D.N.Y. 1976).
  • Laureyssens v. Idea Group, Inc., 964 F.2d 131 (2d Cir. 1992).
  • Ringgold v. Black Entertainment T.V. Inc., 126 F.3d 70 (2d Cir. 1997).
  • Peter Pan Fabrics, Inc. v. Martin Weiner Corp., 274 F.2d 487 (2d Cir. 1960).
  • Herbert Rosenthal Jewelry Corp. v. Kalpakian, 446 F.2d 738 (9th Cir. 1971).
  • Educational Testing Services v. Katzman, 793 F.2d 533 (3d Cir. 1986).
  • Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp., 45 F.2d 119 (2d Cir. 1930).
  • Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., 81 F.2d 49 (2d Cir. 1936).
  • Computer Associates International, Inc. v. Altai, Inc., 982 F.2d 693 (2d Cir. 1992).
  • Steinberg v. Columbia Pictures Industries, 663 F. Supp. 706 (S.D.N.Y. 1987).
  • Kisch v. Ammirati & Puris, Inc., 657 F. Supp. 380 (S.D.N.Y. 1987).

B. Right to make Phonorecords

  • ABKCO Music, Inc. v. Stellar Records, Inc., 96 F.3d 60 (2d Cir. 1996).
  • Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films, 410 F.3d 792 (6th Cir. 2005).

C. The Right to Prepare Derivative Works

  • Horgan v. MacMillan, Inc., 789 F.2d 157 (2d Cir. 1986).
  • Micro Star, Inc v. Formgen, Inc., 154 F.3d 1107 (9th Cir. 1998).
  • Lee v. A.R.T. Co., 125 F.3d 580 (7th Cir. 1997).
  • Futuredontics, Inc. v. Applied Angramics, Inc., 45 U.S.P.Q.2d. 2005, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22249 (C.D.Cal. 1998).
  • National Geographic Society v. Classified Geographic, Inc., 27 F. Supp. 655 (D.Mass. 1939).
  • Gilliam v. American Broadcasting Cos., 538 F.2d 14 (2d Cir. 1976).
  • Wojnarowicz v. American Family Association, 745 F. Supp.130 (S.D.N.Y. 1990).
  • Grand Upright Music, Ltd v. Warner Brothers Records, Inc., 780 F.Supp. 182 (S.D.N.Y. 1991).

D. The Right to Distribute

  • Fawcett Publications, Inc v. Elliot Publishing Co., 46 F. Supp. 717 (S.D.N.Y. 1942).
  • Quality King Distributors, Inc. v. L’Anza Research International, Inc., 523 U.S. 135 (1998).

E. Right of Public Performance and Display

  • Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. v. Aveco, Inc., 800 F.2d 59 (3d Cir. 1986).
  • Ocasek v. Hegglund, 116 F.R.D 154 (D. Wyo. 1987).


A. The application of the Fair Use Doctrine to the Creation of New Works

  • Campbell v. Acuff- Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994).
  • Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates, 581 F.2d 751 (9th Cir. 1978).
  • Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539 (1985).
  • Craft v. Kobler, 667 F. Supp. 120 (S.D.N.Y. 1987).
  • Castle Rock Entertainment, Inc. v. Carol Publishing Group, Inc., 150 F.3d 132 (2d Cir. 1998).
  • Sega Enterprises, Ltd. v. Accolade, Inc., 977 F.2d 1510 (9th Cir. 1992).

B. The application of the Fair Use Doctrine to New Technologies of Copying and Dissemination

  • Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417 (1984).
  • Princeton University Press v. Michigan Document Services, Inc., 99 F.3d 1381 (6th Cir. 1996) (en banc), certoriari denied, 117 S. Ct.1336 (1997).
  • American Geophysical Union v. Texaco, Inc., 60 F.3d 913 (2d Cir. 1995).
  • Storm Impact, Inc. v. Software of the Month Club, 13 F. Supp. 2d 782 (N.D. Ill.1997).
  • Infinity Broadcast Corp. v. Kirkwood, 150 F.3d 104 (2d Cir. 1998).
  • Recording Indus. Ass’n of Am. v. Diamond Multimedia Sys., 180 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 1999).


A. Damages

  • Frank Music Corp. v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 772 F.2d 505 (9th Cir. 1985).
  • Cream Records, Inc. v. Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co., 754 F.2d 826 (9th Cir. 1985).
  • Engel v. Wild Oats, Inc., 644 F.Supp. 1089 (S.D.N.Y. 1986).
  • Felter v. Columbia Pictures Television, Inc., 118 S. Ct. 1279 (1998).

B. Costs and Attorney’s Fees

  • Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc., 510 U.S 517 (1994).

C. Individual, Vicarious, and Contributory Liability

  • Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417 (1984).
  • Fonovisa, Inc. v. Cherry Auction, Inc., 76 F.3d 259 (9th Cir. 1996).
  • A&M Records, Inc. v. Abdallah, 948 F. Supp. 1449 (C.D. Cal. 1996).
  • Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Services, Inc., 907 F. Supp. 1361 (N.D.Cal. 1995).

D. Overenforcement: Copyright Misuse

  • Practice Management Information Corp. v. American Medical Association, 121 F.3d 516 (9th Cir. 1997).


  • International News Services v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918).
  • Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Stiffel CO., 376 U.S. 225 (1964).
  • Compco Corp. v. Day-Brite Lighting, Inc., 376 U.S. 234 (1964).
  • Goldstein v. California, 412 U.S. 546 (1973).
  • Kewanee Oil Co. v. Bicron Corp., 416 U.S 470 (1974).
  • Bonito Boats, Inc. v. Thunder Craft Boats, Inc., 489 U.S. 141 (1989).
  • Baltimore Orioles, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Players Association, 805 F.2d 663 (7th Cir. 1986).
  • National Basketball Ass’n v. Motorola, Inc., 105 F.3d 841 (2d Cir. 1997).
  • ProCD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg, 86 F.3d 1447 (7th Cir. 1996).
  • Smith v. Weinstein, 578 F. Supp. 1297 (S.D.N.Y. 1984).
  • Ehat v. Tanner, 780 F.2d 876 (10th Cir. 1985).
  • Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 723 F.2d 195 (2d Cir. 1983), rev’d on other grounds, 471 U.S. 539 (1985).
  • Computer Associates International, Inc v. Altai, Inc., 982 F.2d 693 (2d Cir. 1992).
  • Rano v. Sipa Press, Inc., 987 F.2d 580 (9th Cir. 1993).


  • London Film Productions, Ltd. v. Intercontinental Communication, Inc., 580 F. Supp. 47 (S.D.N.Y. 1984).
  • Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, Ltd. v. Walt Disney & Co., 145 F.3d 481 (2d Cir. 1998).
  • Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, Inc., 153 F.3d 82 (2d Cir. 1998).
  • Subafilms, Ltd. v. MGM-Pathe’ Communications Co., 24 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir.) (en banc), certoriari denied, 513 U.S. 1001 (1994).
  • Update Art, Inc. v. Modiin Publishers, 843 F.2d 67 (2d Cir. 1998).
  • Curb v. MCA, 898 F. Supp. 586 (M.D. Tenn. 1995).
  • King Features Syndicate v. Fleischer, 299 F. 533 (2d Cir. 1924).

Trade mark law, VI SA/Wa 1100/07

December 21st, 2007, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 18 December 2007 case file VI SA/Wa 1100/07 dismissed McDonald’s Corporation complaint against the Polish Patent Office’s decision and ruled that a Singapore company was allowed to register MacCoffee mark for coffee products. McDonald’s will not be allowed to “monopolize” the Mc-prefix. This judgment should make all trade mark practitioners aware of differences between legal systems. Especially when this Polish case is compared to holding in the case Quality Inns Int’l v McDonald’s Corp., 695 F. Supp. 198 (D. Md. 1988). The Court ruled that Quality International’s use of the name “McSleep” infringed McDonald’s family of marks that are characterized by the use of the prefix “Mc” combined with a generic word.

Trade mark law, case II GSK 247/06

August 11th, 2007, Tomasz Rychlicki

This is the continuation of a story described in “Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 1705/05“. This judgment concerned the figurative trade mark TERRAVITA R-142204. The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 20 February 2007 case file II GSK 247/06 dismissed a cassation complaint brought by the K. Company.


The Court ruled that it cannot be assumed that in case of word-figurative signs, a word element of a such sign has a decisive character because it’s easy to remember and to communicate. While assessing the similarity of signs one has to take into the consideration a general impression which compared signs exert on the consumer. I’m still not so certain if this trade mark (trapezoid box/packaging for a bar of chocolate with characteristic rectangle “window” at the front which allows the consumer to see the texture of the chocolate) should be perceived as “trade dress” as it was discussed by the SCOTUS in its judgment in the case Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc., 505 U.S. 763 (1992). Maybe it is a three-dimensional sign/trade mark (3D).

Patent law, case Davoll v. Brown, 1 Woodb. & M. 53

February 15th, 2007, Tomasz Rychlicki

If you were ever wondering about the origin of this a little bit misleading term of “intellectual property”, you probably did some Internet research. The most popular resource is of course. It will give you some help in this matter. The term “intellectual property” was used for the first time in 1845, by Judge Charles L. Woodbury’s in Davoll v. Brown, 1 Woodb. & M. 53, 3 West.L.J. 151, 7 F.Cas. 197, No. 3662, 2 Robb.Pat.Cas. 303, Merw.Pat.Inv. 414, PDF file.

Only thus can ingenuity and perseverance be encouraged to exert themselves in this way usefully to the community; and only in this way can we protect intellectual property, the labors of the mind, productions and interests as much a man’s own, and as much the fruit of his honest industry, as the wheat he cultivates, or the flocks he rears.

For all of you who are interested in this subject matter I added a link to the full text of this judgment. The case discussed patent law issues. I also edited the wikipedia post. If anynone of you have a copy of A. Nion’s book entitled “Droit civils des auteurs, artistes et inventeurs” I would appreciate if you contact me.