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Brief Of Amici Curiae On Behalf Of Intellectual Property Professors In Support Of Appellant And In Support Of Reversal, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet Sep 2017

Brief Of Amici Curiae On Behalf Of Intellectual Property Professors In Support Of Appellant And In Support Of Reversal, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet

Court Briefs

ASTM’s fundamental complaint is about unauthorized use of its intangible content—the standards for which it claims copyright ownership. Dastar unambiguously holds, however, that only confusion regarding the source of physical goods is actionable under the Lanham Act; confusion regarding the authorship of the standards or their authorization is not actionable. ASTM cannot avoid Dastar just because Public Resource creates digital copies of those standards. Consumers encounter the ASTM marks only as part of the standards, into which ATSM chose to embed the marks. As a result, any “confusion” could only be the result of the content itself. Dastar ...


Brief Of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property Law Professors In Favor Of Judgement As A Matter Of Law, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet, John A. Conway Jun 2017

Brief Of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property Law Professors In Favor Of Judgement As A Matter Of Law, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet, John A. Conway

Court Briefs

Plaintiff’s false designation of origin and false endorsement claims, such as they are, rest on the assertion that defendants falsely represented themselves as the origin of intellectual property on which the Oculus Rift is based. Those claims are barred by Dastar v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 539 U.S. 23 (2003), which holds that only confusion regarding the origin of physical goods is actionable under the Lanham Act.


Brief Of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property Law Professors, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet May 2016

Brief Of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property Law Professors, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet

Court Briefs

The District Court correctly determined that the challenged speech of Dr. Steven Novella was not commercial speech for purposes of applying the Lanham Act. Appellant’s argument to the contrary conflates “seeking profit” with “commercial speech.”


Brief Amici Curiae Of 37 Intellectual Property Professors In Support Of Petition For Certiorari, Mark A. Lemley, Mark Mckenna Jan 2016

Brief Amici Curiae Of 37 Intellectual Property Professors In Support Of Petition For Certiorari, Mark A. Lemley, Mark Mckenna

Court Briefs

This case presents two issues that justify this Court’s review.

First, the Federal Circuit upheld a finding of design patent infringement based on the very same Apple designs that it found functional under trade dress law. Such a counterintuitive outcome is possible because the Federal Circuit has constructed a highly constrained definition of functionality in design patent law, which is at odds with this Court’s precedent in both utility patent and trade dress cases. Coupled with its recent re-interpretation of the design patent infringement standard, the Federal Circuit’s approach to functionality makes it quite likely that defendants ...


Brief Of Amici Curiae On Behalf Of Intellectual Property Professors In Support Of Petitioner, Mark Mckenna, Mark A. Lemley, Christopher Jon Sprigman, Rebecca Tushnett Jan 2016

Brief Of Amici Curiae On Behalf Of Intellectual Property Professors In Support Of Petitioner, Mark Mckenna, Mark A. Lemley, Christopher Jon Sprigman, Rebecca Tushnett

Court Briefs

In its 1976 revision of the Copyright Act, Congress decided to separate applied art from industrial design, admitting the former to copyright and excluding the latter. It drew this distinction precisely because it intended to differentiate copyright from design and utility patent. Congress recognized as applied art only those aesthetic features of a useful article that could be “separated” from that useful article rather than being integrated into the article.

The correct test of separability therefore considers conceptual separability to be nothing more than a coda to physical separability, and asks only whether the claimed design could be removed from ...


Brief Of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property Law Professors In Support Of Appellees, Mark Mckenna Nov 2015

Brief Of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property Law Professors In Support Of Appellees, Mark Mckenna

Court Briefs

The District Court correctly determined that Phoenix failed to state a trademark claim because Basket Case’s activities cannot have caused any relevant confusion.1 Phoenix’s fundamental complaint is about unauthorized use of its intangible content—karaoke tracks. Under Dastar v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 539 U.S. 23 (2003), however, only confusion regarding the source of physical goods is actionable under the Lanham Act; confusion regarding the source of the karaoke tracks or their authorization is not actionable. Phoenix cannot avoid Dastar just because Basket Case creates digital copies of those tracks, as Basket Case does not ...


Brief Of Amici Curiae Law Professors In Support Of Defendant-Appellee National Football League, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet Mar 2015

Brief Of Amici Curiae Law Professors In Support Of Defendant-Appellee National Football League, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet

Court Briefs

Based on the undisputed facts, the NFL’s films in this case are noncommercial speech; their profit-seeking and brand-building nature are standard features of noncommercial speech. Truthful, nondefamatory noncommercial speech deserves full First Amendment protection, and there is no justification for allowing Appellants to control speech about them in this case.

Separately, Appellants’ right of publicity claims are preempted by the Copyright Act, which allows owners of copyrighted works to exploit those works by reproduction, distribution, creation of derivative works, and public performance—precisely the conduct at issue here.

Finally, Appellants’ trademark claims are also precluded by the First Amendment ...


Brief Of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property Law Professors In Support Of Appellant/Cross-Appellee New Life Art, Inc. And Daniel A. Moore And Affirmance In Part, Mark Mckenna, Michael T. Sansbury Aug 2010

Brief Of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property Law Professors In Support Of Appellant/Cross-Appellee New Life Art, Inc. And Daniel A. Moore And Affirmance In Part, Mark Mckenna, Michael T. Sansbury

Court Briefs

The District Court properly held that New Life Art’s (“New Life”) creative works do not infringe the University of Alabama’s (“the University”) rights in the trade dress of its football uniforms, including the their crimson and white colors. First, New Life’s realistic depiction of the University’s football games is not likely to confuse consumers about the source of New Life’s goods, or as to the University’s sponsorship of or affiliation with those goods. Confusion is actionable under the Lanham Act only when it relates to these types of source relationships, and not when consumers ...