Summaries of Recent Precedential and Informative Appellate Opinions

Certiorari Granted

Supap Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-375 (Jan. 15, 2016)

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari without comment. The question presented in the petition for certiorari is “What is the appropriate standard for awarding attorneys' fees to a prevailing party under § 505 of the Copyright Act?” Mr. Kirtsaeng appeals from a Second Circuit decision affirming a district court's decision to deny an award of attorneys' fees based on its finding that John Wiley & Sons had an objectively reasonable basis for bringing its copyright infringement lawsuit.

Precedential Copyright Opinions

Simmons v. Stanberry, No. 14-3106 (2nd Cir. Jan. 15, 2016)

Per Curiam. Affirming the district court's dismissal of a copyright infringement action as time-barred under 17 U.S.C. § 507(b), where the plaintiff, a hip-hop writer and producer, waited more than three years to sue for copyright infringement after learning that rapper Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) used a beat in a song that Mr. Simmons had allegedly exclusively licensed and Mr. Jackson denied infringement. The Second Circuit found that the suit was time-barred even as to alleged infringing acts that had occurred less than three years before suit was filed, because § 507(b) requires suit to be brought within three years of first learning of the infringement dispute.

Precedential Trademark Opinions

LFP IP, LLC v. Hustler Cincinnati, Inc., No. 15-3135 (6th Cir. Jan. 13, 2016)

Sutton, J. In a long-running business dispute between brothers Jimmy and Larry Flynt, affirming that the district court did not abuse its discretion by modifying a 2011 permanent injunction that prohibited Jimmy from using “Hustler” and “Larry Flynt”-related trademarks owned by Larry. The Court found that the district court properly adjusted its injunction to account for changed circumstances, and that one sibling can receive a trademark on his name that can prevent a sibling from using his name, as long as the scope of the injunction is properly tailored.

A Corp. v. All Am. Plumbing, Inc., No. 15-1509 (1st Cir. Jan. 27, 2016)

Thompson, J. Affirming dismissal of trademark infringement action based on lack of personal jurisdiction over defendant in Massachusetts. Alleged infringement on defendant's website that is accessible in Massachusetts was insufficient to establish specific personal jurisdiction over the defendant.