“Sorry, I Didn’t Mean to Do That.”

The Supreme Court recently denied review of the Fifth Circuit’s decision in the case BWP Media v T&S Software, effectively allowing the Circuit Court’s finding (that volitional conduct is a requirement in cases alleging direct copyright infringement) to stand. The case involved an internet service provider (ISP) which hosted an online forum called “Hair Talk.” […] Read More

Tough Love: Another VARA Claim, Thwarted

The Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) was passed in 1990; but, to date, only around 15 artists have brought cases in attempts to enforce the rights it protects. That’s why it was notable when earlier this month a jury ruled against the developer of 5 Pointz, a case we blogged about earlier this year. Recently, […] Read More

You Can Sue, But You Can’t Hide

The United States Court of International Trade was recently the setting for an action brought by a company that wished to remain anonymous. The plaintiff, referred to as XYZ Corporation, had been importing DURACELL batteries into the United States for 27 years. When goods that are genuine products of a trademark owner like DURACELL – […] Read More

Cybersquatter Gets Swatted Down

They said it couldn’t be done, but Kaufman & Kahn recently not only won summary judgment against a prolific cyber-squatter, but also won an award of statutory damages and attorney’s fees. Gregory Ricks, a renowned cyber-squatter, had registered the domain name justbulbs.com, and he’d done that because, frankly, my client named JUST BULBS had failed […] Read More

Increased Rights for Whistleblowers in the Private Sector

A recent court decision in Kings County called Della Pietra v. Poly Prep Country Day School has expanded who can bring a cause of action under whistleblower provisions of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. While the case is significant, and potentially persuasive, it is not a binding precedent. The facts of the case are […] Read More

Trump’s Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Agreement Is Not Terrific. Believe Me.

Recently Buzzfeed News published a reprint of part of a non-disclosure/non-disparagement agreement between Donald Trump’s campaign and anyone who works or volunteers for it — and it made me wonder just how enforceable it is. Under New York law, it’s pretty difficult to avoid a prohibition against sharing confidential information. The courts generally support the notion […] Read More

Are You a Nigerian Prince, or Do You Just Want My Money?

Attorneys beware: The equivalent of the so-called “Nigerian prince who has been trying to contact you” has found out where you work! Recently I received a referral for a potential client from another attorney. The first email from this potential client, whom I will call Mr. Jones, explained that he had matters pending in three […] Read More

Characters and IP Law: The Personalities of Stephen Colbert

When he was on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert committed to a character that has the same name as his. The character is a greenback conservative who keeps an American shield under his desk—a character who popularized the word “truthiness” (yes, it’s a real word). When Colbert took over […] Read More

Atlantic v. Reddit: A Principled Stance or a Fool’s Errand?

Atlantic Recording Corp. has filed a petition in the New York State Supreme Court seeking to compel the internet message board Reddit to reveal who posted a link that directed the user to a pirated version of a song that hadn’t been released yet. The recording is named “Heathens,” performed by a hip-hop duo named […] Read More

How (Not) to Handle a Disgruntled Customer

Let’s say I have a client who does landscaping. Their customer paid for part of the job by credit card and part of it in cash and was told to wait several weeks to see how things grow. A few days later, the customer emailed the landscaper: This is a terrible job. I’m disputing the […] Read More