In a complaint Tuesday, the Girl Scouts sued the Boy Scouts for trademark infringement and unfair competition, arising from the Boy Scouts’ recent decision to include girls, and to use gender-neutral terms like “scout,” that will allegedly confuse the public.  From the complaint’s introduction:
Continue Reading Girls Scouts: Boy Scouts’ New Inclusion of Girls, and Use of Gender Neutral Term “Scouts,” Violates Trademark Laws

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Hellerstein dismissed a suit claiming that the popular novel The Art of Fielding unlawfully misappropriated elements of the story from an unpublished novel called Bucky’s 9th.  After reading both works, Judge Hellerstein found they were not substantially similar:

When read in context, the portions or features of TOAF that are alleged to be similar to Bucky’s are either abstract ideas, scenes a faire, or trivial details insignificant to the either of the two works. True, both works are about a struggling Division III baseball college team, and both works track the baseball team’s changed fortunes after the arrival of a new player. But that is the extent of the similarities.


Continue Reading Judge Hellerstein Dismisses Copyright Suit Against Author of The Art of Fielding

In an opinion today, the Second Circuit held that the “fair use” defense under copyright law did not apply to a service called “TVEyes” that allows users to search transcripts of cable news and other TV shows, and then watch clips up to 10 minutes long (called the “Watch” function).  The decision was a reversal of an earlier ruling by Judge Hellerstein (see our prior coverage here).

The Second Circuit first concluded that TVEyes’ Watch service was “transformative,” a key component of a fair use defense, insofar as it allows users to isolate clips based on their searches:
Continue Reading Second Circuit: Searchable Database of TV Clips Is Not “Fair Use”

Last week, Judge Hellerstein ruled that a parody of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” constituted fair use and did not infringe on the defendant’s copyright or related trademarks.  The plaintiff, New York playwright Matthew Lombardo, brought the suit against Dr. Seuss Enterprises over his “one actress 75-minute comedic play featuring a rather down-and-out 45 year-old

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Hellerstein authorized discovery from the law firm Cravath under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 relating to a claim that the petitioning party planned to file, but had not yet filed, in the Netherlands against a Cravath client.

Judge Hellerstein rejected Cravath’s argument that, since the Netherlands case hadn’t been filed, the discovery was not (in the words of the statute) “for use in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal”:
Continue Reading Judge Hellerstein Authorizes § 1782 Discovery to Law Firm in Aid of Anticipated Dutch Suit Against Firm Client

In an opinion Monday, resolving “the latest in a long, tedious series of discovery disputes,” Judge Hellerstein chided a patent plaintiff, Intellectual Ventures, for having disclosed infringement contentions that were “discursive, disorganized, and, at times, confusing” and for repeatedly shifting positions about what it believed was the infringing conduct of the defendant, JP Morgan:

Intellectual

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Hellerstein emphatically rejected the arguments of a Spanish bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentina (S.A.) (“BBVA”), that, under the recent Supreme Court decision in Daimler v. Bauman and the Second Circuit’s recent ruling in Gucci v. Li, the Court lacked jurisdiction to enforce a subpoena seeking information that related to judgment collection and that was located outside the New York branch:
Continue Reading Judge Hellerstein Rules That Spanish Bank With New York Branch Must Gather Information Globally for Judgment Collection Subpoena

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Hellerstein emphatically rejected the arguments of a Spanish bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentina (S.A.) (“BBVA”) that, under the recent Supreme Court decision in Daimler v. Bauman and the Second Circuit’s recent, ruling in Gucci v. Li, the Court lacked jurisdiction to enforce subpoenas seeking information related to judgment collection,

In an opinion dated yesterday, Judge Hellerstein ruled that a service called “TVEyes,” which “monitors and records all content broadcast by more than 1,400 television and radio stations twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, and transforms the content into a searchable database for its subscribers,” was “fair use” under the copyright laws, and thus largely granted summary judgment against the plaintiff, Fox News. The decision was based on the fact that the service is “transformative”:
Continue Reading Judge Hellerstein Rules That Searchable TV Database Service is “Fair Use”