2nd Circuit Intellectual Property Law News - U.S. Second Circuit
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There's "Polo by Ralph Lauren" -- everyone knows that. But there's also the "United States Polo Association" (USPA), which uses a similar trademark utilizing the word "Polo" and an outline of a polo player on a horse.

Perhaps you or a loved one has become confused in a department store, as you -- a reasonable consumer -- can't discern the difference between "Polo by Ralph Lauren" and "U.S. Polo Association." Are they the same? Are they different?

Yesterday, the Second Circuit determined that they're just different enough to survive.

Content providers are still struggling to figure out how to make money in the digital age. Music publishers, in particular, were much more comfortable with selling CDs from physical stores than they were selling digital copies, and even those, it seems, are giving way to streaming services.

This case from the Second Circuit pits stream music powerhouse Pandora against an association of music publishers. The publishers resisted allowing "new media" companies to license their works, but both a federal district court and the Second Circuit said the language of their agreements was clear: You can't choose to license to one group, but not to others.

You may have never heard of Jack Kirby, but you've heard of X-Men, The Fantastic Four, and The Incredible Hulk? Kirby created, or co-created, all of them -- and more -- between 1958 and 1963, when he was an independent contractor for Marvel Comics.

Last Friday, a surprise announcement sent a shockwave through the legal-comics community. The estate of Jack Kirby and Marvel Entertainment had reached a settlement, meaning the Kirby v. Marvel cert petition would likely be withdrawn from the Supreme Court's consideration.

Earlier this month, the Second Circuit "tackled the tricky question of how to define originality in architecture," reports Architect Magazine. Though standard copyright theory applies, determining originality in architecture can be difficult for courts.

In finding its own path, the Second Circuit rejected the analysis of the Eleventh Circuit, and decided to go its own way.

Let's call this the copyright lawsuit that just won't go away. What Disney thought was finality in a lawsuit involving the creation of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' now has new life.

In its fourth iteration, this lawsuit may now actually move forward. Let the drama begin.

The past month was a busy one for fashion brands as two lawsuits made headlines (but thankfully had no effect on hemlines).

In the first suit, designer Rachel Roy is suing Jones Apparel Group ("Jones"), where she is trying to stop Jones from selling her brand for $14.6 million to Bluestar Alliance, allegedly in violation of several agreements between Roy and Jones, reports WWD. (subscription only)

In the next, Aeropostale is suing H&M for trademark infringement over the use of the phrase "Live Love Dream," says WWD. (subscription only)

Here's a breakdown of each case.

There are a slew of copyright-related cases making their way through the Second Circuit, some even making it to the Supreme Court.

The Author's Guild filed an appeal with the Second Circuit on Friday, challenging the district court's ruling in favor of Google. The Second Circuit also agreed to hear arguments in a case brought by record companies against Vimeo. And next week, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Aereo case. Here's a breakdown of the latest news.

In 2000, photographer Patrick Cariou published "Yes, Rasta," a collection of portraits he shot, in Jamaica, of Rastafarians living in isolated communities. Eight years later, Richard Prince showed "Canal Zone" a series of collages and paintings altering many of Cariou's photographs. This week, the parties settled their dispute out of court putting an end to years of litigation.

Alleged Copyright Infringement

Cariou sued Richard Prince, and the gallery showing the works, for copyright infringement, and Prince countered with a fair use defense, reports The Hollywood Reporter. District court Judge Batts found for Cariou holding that the fair use defense failed because the works were not transformative, that is "the new work in some way [must] comment on, relate to the historical context of, or critically refer back to the original works."

As always, there's lots to catch up on in the Second Circuit. So, let's cut the small talk and get to it.

Ecuadorian Judgment Against Chevron Fraudulent

Earlier this month, a district judge for the Southern District of New York penned a 497-page ruling finding that Steven Donziger violated a laundry list of laws to obtain an Ecuadorian court's judgment against Chevron, said the company in a press release. Donziger has voiced his intentions to appeal, and called the district court's ruling "an appalling decision resulting from a deeply flawed proceeding that overturns a unanimous ruling by Ecuador's Supreme Court," reports The Wall Street Journal.

It's never a dull day in the Second Circuit, and cases at varying stages of litigation are progressing through the courts. Today we look at an atheist group's challenge to the inclusion of a steel cross in a 9/11 museum, the ACLU's appeal of a phone data ruling and the Department of Justice weighs in on the Aereo case that the Supreme Court will hear in April.

Atheists Challenge 9/11 Steel Cross

An activist group of atheists, American Atheists, continues to challenge the inclusion of a steel cross in a 9/11 museum. The steel cross was formed by the debris of the World Trade Center and is being included as one of the many artifacts left from the destruction. For some, the cross was seen as a symbol of hope, but some atheists have allegedly been suffering from "physical and emotional pain" because of the crosses inclusion in the museum, reports The Blaze.