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Sacramento Intellectual Property Law Blog

Photo agency sues Justin Bieber over use of copyrighted pictures

The success of California businesses is often built on their copyrighted materials. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to protect that material from unauthorized use. One California photo agency is currently dealing with a significant violation of its copyrighted pictures, and has filed a lawsuit against the pop singer Justin Bieber.

The photo agency claims that Bieber posted at least 14 of the photo agency's copyrighted photos to his Instagram account. The photos in question featured Bieber, although it is not clear when or where they were taken. The lawsuit is asking for $2.1 million for damages, but this route was apparently not the photo agency's first choice.

Resolving technology law disputes through mediation

Computers, electronics and smartphones have revolutionized the way people live and work. As California entrepreneurs know, the technologies involved are worth a great deal of money, so when disputes arise, they can get contentious without some assistance. In order to more amicably resolve issues having to do with technology law, the parties can choose to go through mediation instead of going through the cost, time and effort of litigation.

If you are one of the parties facing a legal dispute connected to some form of technology, you may want to consider using mediation. One of the issues that individuals in your position often want is to reduce the exposure of any dispute to the public since it could damage the reputation of the parties in question. Moreover, using mediation could help preserve the working relationship between the parties, if there is one. 

The internet is a place ripe with intellectual property issues

Now more than ever, being online is an important part of life. Many here in California and elsewhere rely on e-commerce to get the goods they need. This makes businesses that primarily use the internet more vulnerable to intellectual property issues.

For some, it means the possibility of infringement or exposure of trade secrets. For others, it means the inadvertent and unintentional infringement of another party's legally protected materials. With things changing rapidly and moving quickly, it can be easy to put material out on the internet before applying for and obtaining protection for it.

Ford Motor Company faces copyright law claim

Like most people across the country, California residents find television and radio advertisements annoying, especially when the music associated with them gets stuck in their heads. Of course, that is the point of commercials, and companies will spend substantial amounts of money promoting their products in this way. However, under copyright law, those companies need to enter into licensing agreements with the owners of the musical selections they want to use. Recently, one composer accused Ford Motor Company of not obtaining licensing to use the music in its advertisements.

According to the lawsuit recently filed, Ford failed to obtain the rights to use the music in no less than 74 promotional videos and advertisements. Freeplay Music LLC, says the company used 54 of its songs without permission. The company claims Ford willfully infringed on its copyrights by using the material.

PureCircle files patent law claim against stevia competitor

The food industry is big business. Many companies in California and elsewhere have patents on their products, and it stands to reason they want to maintain whatever edge they can in the market. They rely on patent law to provide them with the protections they need in order to stay competitive. For instance, PureCircle recently filed a lawsuit against Almendra, claiming the company infringed on its patents regarding the natural sweetener called Stevia.

Of PureCircle's 75 patents, it claims Almendra infringed on one regarding steviol glycoside, which is a process to convert glycoside Rebaudioside D into another compound called Rebaudioside M. However, there could be an issue with this particular patent since Almendra received safe status recognition from the U.S. Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association back in 2016 for its Steviarome, but it took three more years for the company to apply for a patent on it. PureCircle just received the patent that is the subject of the lawsuit in Sept. 2019.

Recent copyright law claim against Billy Joel not about music

Billy Joel is best known for his music. Over the years, he earned the nickname, the "Piano Man," and has worked in the industry for decades. For this reason, hearing that someone filed a copyright law claim against him may cause California residents to believe it has something to do with music, but not this time.

The recent claim has to do with a home the music legend owns on the East Coast. He commissioned a contractor to perform renovations on the property that required architectural designs. At some point during that process, the contractor was terminated from the project and a new one was brought in to complete it.

Patent law claims seem to plague the technology industry

The technological advances of the last couple of decades have revolutionized the way people here in California and across the country live. Many of the companies who bring people the technology they rely on use similar platforms and components. For this reason, the industry seems to see numerous patent law claims.

For instance, a company called Commvault recently filed a lawsuit against two companies, Rubrik and Cohesity. Commvault claims that the companies violated patent law by using some of its patented technology without permission. The patents have to do with virtual machine protection, cloud archive integration, policy-based security restrictions and other issues. 

Protecting a trademark through intellectual property litigation

Like companies across the country, many California companies rightly take the time and steps needed to protect their trademarks. The problem is that the more popular a particular trademark is, the more possibilities there are for someone to infringe on it. Intellectual property litigation may be needed in order to stop someone from using it without permission, particularly when cease and desist letters are not working.

Sending letters to those infringing on a trademark, directing them to cease and desist may work in some cases. However, some people out there simply do not care. They are making money off another company's trademark and may actually force the owner's hand by making the owner file a lawsuit to sort out the issue.

Patent law news: Companies accuse each other of infringement

California smartphone users may not realize the amount of technology that goes into being able to turn the screen on their phones from vertical to horizontal. They may also not realize the amount of money involved in that technology as it relates to patent law. The current dispute between Eko, an interactive video company, and Quibi, a short-form mobile video streaming company, illustrates how important the ownership of this technology could be.

The two companies are arguing over which one infringed upon the other party's patents relating to this particular technology. Which party prevails could rest on timing. Eko claims that individuals now involved at Quibi received intimate knowledge of Eko's technology before they were part of Quibi. Apparently, another company was considering investing in Eko, and as part of the proposal, some individuals received knowledge that the company says Quibi is now using. 

Cybersecurity measures may be needed to protect trade secrets

The popularity of teleworking is growing at an exponential rate right now. Lots of California residents are taking advantage of this option, but they may need access to sensitive information from their companies in order to work. This means that trade secrets could end up vulnerable without some protections. Taking cybersecurity measures could help provide much needed protections.

The responsibility for protecting trade secrets starts with a California company's CEO and trickles all the way down to the employee working from home. Company CEOs need to make sure that managers and cybersecurity professionals have the tools they need such as plans to protect information, plans to respond to an attack and the money to put those plans into action. Managers can then allocate resources as necessary in order to best protect the company's sensitive information.

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