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Your firm’s client, Vision Corp. (“Vision”), owns numerous luxury hotels in the western region of the United States. These hotels have lushly landscaped gardens, gift and retail shops, golf courses, restaurants that feature upscale cuisine, swimming pools, tot lots with games and rides for children, and other features common to upscale hotels. The most luxurious hotels are named “V” and hotels that are slightly less luxurious operate under the name “Vision Court.” Television commercials that advertise the hotels feature a cartoon-type spokesman, called “Vee,” who routinely repeats the company’s signature slogan, “Make your vacation your own Vision Quest.” The hotels sell a variety of souvenirs in their gift shops, including cookbooks featuring recipes from the hotel restaurants, originally designed jewelry, key chains, and coffee mugs, all of which display the company’s logo, a large “V” with eagles’ wings inside a circle. Due to the success of the hotels, Vision is considering building hotels along the eastern seaboard and is conducting confidential market and customer surveys to determine the level of interest in such hotels.
Activities. Identify the trademarks, copyrights, patentable matter, and trade secrets Vision might own.
Indicate whether the following items would be protectable as trademarks, copyright, patents, or trade secrets:
• A new composition by singer John Mayer
• A book by former Secretary of State George Shultz
• The ad slogan “Got Milk?”
• A new type of computer keyboard
• A company’s plans to acquire another company in a hostile takeover
Merck & Co., Inc., applied for a patent on September 14, 1989, for a drug to treat manic depression, and the patent was granted on January 1, 1991. How long does patent protection for this drug last?
Assume that Merck has filed a trademark application for the name of its new drug. How long will trademark protection for this mark last?
The novel Red Badge of Courage was written in 1895 by author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). Can a play based on the novel be written by a playwright? Why or why not?
In what way do “knock-off” handbags designed to look like legitimate handbags pose a threat to designers and makers of handbags?
Access the Web site of the USPTO.
a. Who is the current Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO?
b. Review the glossary. What is the definition of “patent”?
c. Review the fee schedule for trademarks. What is the fee to file an application to renew a trademark?
d. Review the fee schedule for patents. What is the basic filing for a utility patent application, a design patent application, and a plant patent application?
Access the Web site of the Copyright Office.
a. What is the telephone number of the Copyright Office?
b. Review the FAQs. How is copyright different from patents or trademarks?
c. Review the fee schedule. What is the fee for obtaining an additional certificate of registration of a copyright?
Vision is considering offering a variety of new products in its hotel gift shops and would like to seek trademark registration for the marks under which the goods and services will be offered. Some of the proposed marks include the following:
• The slogan “Vacation with Vision”;
• Coffee mugs with the flags of various nations on them;
• The design of a lid to be placed over the coffee mugs, which helps retain heat better than other mug covers and lids;
• The mark “El major hotel del mundo” (Spanish for “The best hotel in the world”) to be displayed on T-shirts;
• The distinctive giggle of Vision’s mascot, Vee; and
• The slogan “Jennifer Aniston’s Favorite Hotel” to be displayed on caps and visors.
Activities. Identify the type of mark each product or service represents (e.g., trademark, sound mark, color mark) and then indicate any possible objections the USPTO might have to each mark, if any.
Classify the following marks as trademarks, service marks, collective marks, or certification marks:
• AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (to indicate membership in registrant’s organization)
• 409 (for cleaning products)
• BRITISH AIRWAYS: THE WAY TO FLY (for transportation services)
• PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO (used to certify that products originate in the Parma-Reggio region of Italy)
• DR. PHIL (for television show)
• CHIPS AHOY! (for cookies)
Could a bright yellow color be trademarked for road safety signs?
Could the shape of a guitar be trademarked when the shape enhances the sound produced by the guitar? Discuss.
Ron Nelson is opening a clothing store in Denver. He recently sold and shipped one men’s shirt to his brother in New York. Is this use sufficient to support an application for federal trademark registration? What if Ron establishes a Web site that allows customers from around the United States to order his goods? Discuss.
What is the danger of consumers saying, “We should Google that to find out more information”?
Discuss whether a person could likely obtain a federal trademark registration for the following marks for the goods or services indicated, and discuss the objections, if any, that the USPTO might raise.
Mark Goods or Services
SIMPSON .................. Cosmetics
PEYTON MANNING’S CHOICE ........ Athletic gear
MYSTIQUE ................. Clothing
CAFFE ................... Coffee beans
BEST SAUCE ................ Pasta sauce
OATMEAL COOKIE ............. Body lotion
OATMEAL KOOKIE ............. Oatmeal cookie
OLYMPIC RINGS .............. Coaching services
FANTASY .................. Perfume
CHOCO-BITS ................ Snacks with no chocolate
AVERELLA ................. Earphones
PENGUIN .................. Beverage coolers
Access the USPTO Web site and select “Trademarks” and then “Check Status.” Check the status of the various federal trademark registrations and answer the questions.
a. Check Reg. No. 2328375. What is the mark? When was it registered? For what goods was the mark registered? Whose consent is of record?
b. Check Reg. No. 2442140. Who is the registrant? When was the mark registered? Give the description of the mark.
Vision has decided to introduce a variety of new services and products, each of which will bear a different trademark or service mark. One mark is VISION CHALLENGE: GOLF PROS, which will be used for a one-time charity golf tournament. Other marks include SUNVISION, to be used in connection with skin care products, which will be sold in hotel spas, and VISIONTREK, to be used in connection with guided tours of the localities in which Vision‘s hotels are located. Finally, Vision will market a line of accessories for the home under the mark VISIONHOME.
Activities: Describe the types of searches that should be conducted for each mark. Assume that the search for VISIONHOME discloses an expired trademark registration for VISIONHOUSE for candles, pillows, and vases.
Assume that a client intends to use the mark SUPERSAVE SPRING for a month-long sales promotion for its grocery store in Dayton. Discuss the kind of search that should be conducted.
Assume that SUPERSAVE SPRING will be used for a month-long sales promotion for a chain of grocery stores across the nation. Discuss the kind of search that should be conducted.
Assume that a client wishes to use the mark SPA LOTION for a skin moisturizer. A search of the USPTO records discloses that a previous registration for SPA LOTION for hand cream has expired. Discuss the risks to the client of using SPA LOTION without further investigation.
If a client wishes to use the mark SPA LOTION for skin moisturizer and discovers the marks SUN LOTION, LOTION AID, and GLOW LOTION for related goods, what does this suggest?
If a search of the USPTO records for SPA LOTION discloses a reference for SPA TREATMENT LOTION for moisturizers, what should the client do?
Assume a client wishes to use the mark PEU DE TAVERNE for restaurant and café services. Use “Babelfish” and translate the mark, and then indicate what likely objection the USPTO would make to an application for this mark.
Access the USPTO Web site and use the Structured Form. Insert “Cube” into one field and select “Non-Punctuated Word Mark.” Then insert “Target” into the other field and select “Owner Name and Address.” Select the connector “And.”
a. What is the name of the mark for the most recent registration you are given?
b. Access TARR. Was this application filed in paper form or was it filed using the TEAS electronic system? What law office was this application assigned to?
c. Access TDR. How much time elapsed between the Notice of Publication and registration of this mark? Review the Certificate of Registration. What notice is given about the use of the word “wine” in this mark?
Vision has operated well-known gift and souvenir shops called Treasure Trove in its hotels for several years. The shops offer a variety of hats, T-shirts, mugs, and toys that display the mark CLUB KID, which is also the name of Vision’s child care camp that it offers to its hotel guests. Within the next year, Vision intends to expand its child care offerings and use the mark SAFARI EXPLORER for younger campers and VISIONTREKKERS for its older campers. Vision recently filed trademark applications for TREASURE TROVE. The first office action issued by the USPTO has stated that the mark is merely descriptive of gift store services. Vision intends to file applications for CLUB KID, SAFARI EXPLORER, and VISIONTREKKERS.
Activities. You may need to access the USPTO Web site or the TMEP to answer some of these questions.
• Describe the arguments Vision should advance in its response to the office action rejecting the application for TREASURE TROVE.
• Draft an identification of goods and services for the goods and services offered under CLUB KID (and identify the international classes applicable to the mark), identify the filing fee Vision will need to pay in connection with the application(s), and describe any potential challenges the USPTO may raise to registration of the mark.
• Describe the type of applications that Vision would file for SAFARI EXPLORER and VISION TREKKER, and draft the identification of services and identify the international class applicable to the marks.
Would an identification of “leather goods, including handbags and belts” be acceptable to the USPTO? Discuss.
Describe the type of specimen that would support use of the following marks:
OCEANA for restaurant services
JACK & JILL for children’s books
AQUAKISS for bottled water
If an application for BRAINIAC COMPUTERS (for computer repair services) is refused registration on the basis that the mark is merely descriptive, how should the applicant respond?
Assume that a notice of allowance is issued on May 1, 2006, for a mark that is the subject of an ITU application. Discuss the deadlines applicable to the mark to ensure the application is not abandoned.
Assume that a mark is published in the Official Gazette on December 15. When should a notice of opposition be filed if one intends to oppose registration of the mark?
Assume the owner of the registered mark MORNING GLOW CREAM (for skin lotion and cream) disclaimed “Cream.” Later users have applied for the marks EVENING GLOW CRÈME and SUGAR GLOW LOTION, both for skins lotions and creams. Discuss whether the marks are confusing similar.
Use the glossary on the USPTOs Web site and give the definition of “blackout period.”
Review the registered trademark WESTERN ENERGETIX.
a. What is the “mark statement” given for this mark?
b. Access the TDR system and review the signature on the application. When was the application signed and by whom was it signed? Is the signature legible?
Use the “New User” Search form on the USPTO Web site. Do you think you could file an application for the mark DE MILO for bracelets? Discuss fully. Review the Assignment Status records for the mark you located. Who is the current owner of the mark?
1. Give all dates relating to maintenance for the VISIONTREK mark.
2. What activities should be undertaken with regard to SUNSPA?
3. Vision would like to file the Section 8 affidavit of use for its V mark for its jewelry. What difficulties might it encounter?
4. What type of arrangement might Vision consider with regard to the SUNVISION mark?
Vision has obtained trademark registrations for several marks, including one for VISIONTREK, which was registered on May 8, 2006. Vision recently purchased all of the assets of a smaller company that operated a resort whose main attraction was a luxury spa called SUNSPA, the trademark for which was registered to the now defunct company. Two problems that Vision is struggling with are decreased sales for the hats offered under the mark SUNVISION (although another company has expressed interest in the mark) and a labor strike that has prevented it from making bracelets displaying Vision’s registered mark “V” with its eagles’ wings, which was registered fi ve and one-half years ago for jewelry in I.C. 14.
What is the latest possible date to file a Section 8 affidavit for a trademark registered on July 15, 2007?
Over the years, the registered trademark EGG-NOG, used for bath products, has changed in appearance to EGGNOG. Discuss whether such a change might preclude the owner from filing a Section 8 affidavit for the mark.
Assume that a Section 15 affidavit of incontestability was filed for the mark PRECODA for computer software. ABC Inc. has recently alleged that the registration for PRECODA was procured through a fraud on the USPTO and that PRECODA is confusingly similar to ABC’s mark. Discuss the effects of the Section 15 affidavit on these allegations.
What are the dangers of consumers saying, “I love my Jacuzzi” or “I always play Frisbee on the weekends”? What should consumers say?
XYZ Inc. offers an extremely expensive automobile under the mark ESSARO. Last year it only sold 10 of the automobiles, and this year it has sold none. What effect does this type of use have on XYZ’s ability to file Section 8 affidavits?
LMN Inc. has granted permission to another party to use LMN’s mark in any manner it chooses. What are the dangers of such a permission, and what type of permission has been granted?
A franchisor has granted a license to a franchisee to offer hamburgers and other deli-style foods under its mark. What types of quality control provisions should a license agreement include?
Review U.S. Reg. No. 3,181,795. Locate the assignment records. When was the assignment for this mark recorded? Identify the assignor and assignee. Why was an assignment recorded?
In reviewing the Official Gazette for March 15, Vision noticed a pending application for EXPRESS ESPRESSO for ground coffee beans. One of Vision’s popular products in its gift stores is ESPRESSO EXPRESSO® used for ground coffee beans. Vision is also planning to build tot lots at its resorts to be called KID CITY. In conducting its trademark search, Vision has discovered that while Disney Co. owns a registration for KID TOWN®, the sections within its amusement parks that used the mark KID TOWN® were dismantled two years ago. Vision recently discovered that another resort company is marketing its golf courses under the mark GREEN DREAMS. Vision owns a registered trademark for DREAM GREENS® for its golf courses. Finally, Vision, which offers a well-known line of candy in its gift stores under the mark CANDY EXPRESS®, recently discovered that a company is using the name CANDY XPRESS in connection with adult pornography.
Activities. Discuss the appropriate actions Vision should take to protect it marks ESPRESSO EXPRESSO®, DREAM GREENS®, and CANDY EXPRESS®. Additionally, if Vision wishes to use KID CITY for its tot lots, what should it do with regard to the registration issued to Disney Co.?
If a mark is published in the Official Gazette on July 3, and a party wishes to oppose registration of the mark, when must it do so?
Assume a registration is issued on the Principal Register on June 1, 2005. What are the time limits for petitioning to cancel the registration based on the following grounds?
a. The mark has been abandoned.
b. The mark is descriptive.
c. The mark is confusingly similar to another’s mark.
The trademark POLAROID® is a coined mark. In an infringement action brought by the owner of the mark, why is the mark entitled to a strong scope of protection?
Assume that the owner of POLAROID® has known of the use of a mark POLARIDE used in connection with an amusement park ride for two years. The owner of POLARIDE has recently begun offering photographic supplies under the mark POLARIDE. The owner of POLAROID® has decided to sue for trademark infringement. What defenses is POLARIDE likely to assert? What response is POLAROID® likely to make?
In a trademark infringement action, the plaintiff would like to introduce evidence that an intern in the company asked individuals who passed by the plaintiff’s office building whether they were confused by the defendant’s mark and 60 percent of the respondents answered affirmatively. What might the defendant assert with regard to such evidence?
Discuss whether the following might constitute blurring or tarnishment.
PEPSI (for pasta)
OLD CROW (for bird seed)
APPLE (for pornographic materials)
Use the USPTO’s glossary and give the definition for “cancellation.”
Vision, the owner of the registered trademarks VISION QUEST® for hotel services and VISION® for a variety of goods and services (and the owner of the domain name www. vision.com) recently discovered that Bob Russell has registered the domain name www.vizion.com for gambling-related activities and that an eye-care center has registered www.vision.net for its services. Russell has made a significant amount of money from visitors or “hits” to his site, and he has offered to sell the domain name www.vizion.com to Vision for $45,000. Vision’s own Web site allows prospective vacationers to make hotel reservations at any of Vision’s hotels and resorts. Finally, Vision has a link on its Web site to www.pga.com so prospective golfers can obtain information about golf handicaps and equipment.
Activities. What should Watson do, if anything, to protect its mark from Russell and the eye-care center? What practice has Russell engaged in? May Vision bring an action against the eye-care center under ACPA? Finally, discuss the permissibility of Vision’s link and whether Vision can be sued throughout the United States.
Ann operates a Web site in California that provides information about her gift baskets. Gift baskets cannot be ordered through the site, but the site shows pictures of the baskets and allows viewers to send comments and suggestions to Ann. May Ann be sued in Missouri? Discuss.
Dan is unhappy with the service he received from Roto-Rooter Corporation, and has established a domain name called www.rotorooterscam.com. The Web site offers critical commentary about Roto-Rooter and asks users to submit their opinions about Roto- Rooter. Is Roto-Rooter, the owner of a federal registration for ROTO ROOTER® likely to prevail in a trademark infringement case? In a suit brought under ACPA? Discuss. What if Dan used the site to promote his own drain and plumbing services? Discuss.
Your firm’s client, Marriott International, Inc. has received complaints from customers that its Web site is pornographic. In investigating the issue, Marriott discovered that several misspellings of its name (for example, Mariott or Marriot) lead users to unsavory Web sites. The person who registered the domain names, Phil, has offered to sell the domains to Marriott. What is this practice called? What is the most efficient avenue for Marriott to pursue to obtain rights to these sites? Is the registrar of the site liable to Marriott? Why or why not?
Your firm’s client, Toys R Us, Inc., has discovered a Web site www.adultsrus.com that provides pornographic pictures. What type of action might Toys R Us bring against the operator of the site?
Your firm’s client, Bank of America, recently discovered that its customers have been receiving e-mails that display Bank of America’s trademark and logo and that inform customers that the bank needs to verify their account status and ask for account numbers. What is this practice called? Will an action for trademark infringement lie? Discuss.
Your firm’s client King Corp. is a well-known real estate company in your locality. When King Corp. attempted to register the domain name www.King.com, it discovered that an individual in New York, Jenna King, who operates King Design Services, Inc. had already registered www.King.com. Will King Corp. be successful in attempting to recover the name www.King.com? Discuss.
Access WIPO’s site, and review its index of UDRP Panel Decision. Locate the cases relating to individuals, specifically individuals in the entertainment industry. Locate Case D2006-0402.
a. What domain name was involved?
b. Who was the complainant?
c. Review paragraph 7 of the decision. What were the three results or conclusions reached by the panel?
Access the Web site for Whois and locate information about the Web site www.paralegals.org.
a. Who is the registrant?
b. Who is the sponsoring registrar?
c. When will the domain name expire?
Vision filed an application in the United States for its mark VACATION WITH VISION on June 19. Vision is considering opening resorts in the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, and France and would like to ensure it can use the VACATION WITH VISION mark in those countries in the future. Vision is also considering opening a resort in Australia.
Activities. What kind of trademark application should Vision file to protect the VACATION WITH VISION mark for future use in the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, and France? When should the application be filed? Why? What happens if the application is refused in Spain? Assume the mark achieves registration in the four countries. If Vision uses the mark only in France, may the registration be cancelled in Portugal due to nonuse? Is there a way for Vision to apply for registration in Australia at the same time that it applies for registration in the other four countries? Discuss.
Pierre, a French citizen, filed an application in the United States based on a registration issued in France. Peter, a U.S. citizen, filed an application in the United States based on his intent to use his mark in the United States. In what way will the application process for these marks differ?
Eamon, a citizen of Ireland, obtained a U.S. registration based on his registration in Ireland. When must Eamon use the mark in the United States?
Tim, the owner of a CTM registration, discovered that his mark was being infringed in Ireland by TechCo and prevailed in an infringement action against TechCo. Tim has recently discovered that TechCo is now using the mark in Austria. What is the effect, if any, of Tim’s previous infringement action?
Flagg Winery, Inc. intends to offer two wines under the marks SAPPHIRE RESERVE and MONTEREY RED. Both wines are made in New York. Discuss whether there are any problems with the intended marks.
Suzanne, a French citizen, has obtained a French registration for APPLE GALETTE (meaning “apple wafer”) for apple desserts and wafers. Suzanne applied for registration of the mark in the United States based on section 44(e), and the USPTO refused registration on the basis that the mark is merely descriptive. Suzanne has argued that the USPTO must register the mark because it is registered in France. Is this a valid argument? Discuss.
Access WIPO’s Web site.
a. Review the fees related to the Madrid Protocol. What is the fee to renew a registration (for one class)?
b. When was the Madrid Protocol entered into force in China, New Zealand, and the United States?
c. Review the summary for the Trademark Law Treaty. May signatory countries require that signatures on documents be authenticated or attested?
Use the TMEP and locate information about the Madrid Protocol. What happens to an international registration registered under the Madrid Protocol if the corresponding U.S. registration is cancelled within five years?
Vision Inc. has decided to issue a series of children’s books based on its well-known cartoon character spokesman, Vee. Additionally, Vision employees have prepared a series of scripts for prospective advertising campaigns and commercials. A computer game is also being developed for guests’ children. Finally, Vision employees have written a song for the company’s recent ad campaign.
Activities. Which of the foregoing items is protectable under copyright law? What advantages does Vision secure by registering any copyrights?
In what way does copyright law encourage artistic expression?
Why is the term of a copyright limited to a certain period of time? Why shouldn’t authors enjoy copyright rights forever?
Sue enters her thoughts and feelings in her daily journal. She has no intent to publish this journal and intends to pass it along to her children. Is this work protected under the 1976 Copyright Act? Would it be protectable under the previous 1909 Copyright Act?
Are Webcasts protectable under the current Copyright Act? What language in 17 U.S.C. § 102 governs your answer?
Review “FAQs.” May the following be protected by copyright?
a. Web site
b. domain name
d. name of a band
Vision’s gift shops at its resorts offer originally designed jewelry, original guidebooks with maps and suggestions for touring surrounding areas, cookbooks featuring recipes from the hotel restaurants, and DVDs featuring information about the resorts. Its lounges offer live concert and comedy routine performances. As patrons leave the resort, they are given survey cards to “rate” their satisfaction with Vision’s services. Vision has recently retained a new architecture firm to develop plans for new resorts, and this firm has prepared technical drawings and models of planned resorts. Finally, Vision has developed a new system for “check out” for its hotel guests.
Activities. Discuss the copyrightability of each of the above works.
Classify the following as likely copyrightable or not copyrightable.
• The lyrics to the Macarena song
• The dance steps and moves to the Macarena song
• The filmed television performance of celebrities on Dancing with the Stars
• A PowerPoint presentation by the board of directors of Ford Motor Co.
• A speech written for the chairman of Ford Motor Co.
• A law firm’s sheets for keeping time
• A list of Supreme Court Justices
• GEICO’s slogan “Even a caveman can do it”
• The scripts for the GEICO “caveman” commercials
• A knife
• An engraved rose on a knife
• An idea for a method of online banking
• Federal regulations relating to banking
• A novel that includes highly offensive language and racist content
A photographer takes a picture of the Washington Monument. The next day, another photographer takes an identical picture of the Washington Monument. Which picture is entitled to copyright protection? Discuss.
A writer has written a script for a new sitcom based upon a colorful and glamorous group of housewives living in a suburb and their marriages, friendships, and relationships. Would such a script infringe the well-known sitcom Desperate Housewives? Discuss.
Identify each of the following as a compilation, collection, or derivative work.
• The Broadway play Spamalot based on the earlier Monty Python sketches
• A chart entitled Fast Facts about U.S. Presidents that provides a listing of the presidents’ birth dates and birthplaces and information about their personality traits and families
• A book of photographs titled Nature Photography and showing various artists’ photographs of landscapes, parks, and other natural scenes
• A cookbook entitled Betty Crocker’s Diabetes Cookbook
• The movie The Da Vinci Code based on the book of the same name
• A book listing the 200 best movies
• A directory listing the best hotels in the United States according to several criteria, including location, amenities, cleanliness, and so forth
• The movie Ocean’s Thirteen (based upon the earlier movies Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve)
• A book entitled Best Short Stories of 2007
1. Use the Web site of the Copyright Office to answer the following questions.
a. Review Circular 32. Is typeface or typography of a work protected under copyright law? Would a sports schedule showing the schedule of the L.A. Lakers be protected under copyright law?
b. Review Fact Sheet 109. What form should be used if a person desires to secure a copyright registration for a dissertation? May one submit a handwritten manuscript to the Copyright Office?
c. Review Circular 40. Is a sewing kit copyrightable? Is a stained glass design copyrightable? Is the “smiley face” symbol copyrightable?
d. Review Circular 56. What three examples are given of sound recordings?
e. Review Form TX. What does Section 6 require the copyright claimant to identify?
Vision allows its guests to select popular DVDs to be played in their rooms. Vision also plays music throughout its lobby and common areas and in the elevators. Vision has also purchased some artwork that is placed in its lobby and reproduced the artwork on postcards that it sells in its gift shops. Lounges in the hotels feature live music performances, with singers performing various well-known “easy listening” songs. Its 50s-style diner allows guests to use coin-operated jukeboxes to select songs to be played throughout the diner. Finally, Vision is hosting a charity function next week in one of its largest conference rooms to raise money for diabetes research. Well-known singers will sing songs from hit Broadway plays.
Activities. Consider each activity and determine whether any of the exclusive rights of copyright owners have been violated.
The owner of your local coffee shop, Bill, has brought in some of his CDs from home, including several by Carrie Underwood, to play in the shop for the enjoyment of his customers. Have any copyright rights been violated? Discuss.
The ABA is holding its annual convention next week and intends to play music in various conference rooms before the beginning of seminars. Have any copyright rights been violated? Discuss.
If you recently purchased a DVD of the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, may you later sell it at a garage sale? What principle governs your answer?
Given the facts in question 3, may you show the film in your home at a private party?
Given the facts in question 3, may you show the film at your local church’s annual fundraiser?
A high school drama class is rehearsing the play Cats. Is this a violation of any copyright laws? What if the high school performs the play in its auditorium and charges an admission fee? Discuss.
John, a well-known artist, does not like the way a local art museum is displaying his paintings. John believes that the lighting for the display is inappropriate to show the paintings at their best. Is this a violation of any copyright laws? Discuss.
Given the facts in question 7, what if the museum has framed one of John’s paintings in a way that covers up his signature. Have any copyright rights been violated? Discuss.
Your cousin has hired a local DJ to play music at her wedding. Is this a public performance such that a license would be needed to play the music? Discuss.
You are driving a carpool with four people and turn the radio on in your car. Is this a public performance? Discuss. What if you drive a tour bus that charges admission to the passengers? Is this a public performance? Discuss.
Access BMI’s Web site.
a. Search for works by the rap artist Ludacris. How many titles are listed?
b. Review “About” BMI. How many compositions does BMI represent?
Access the Copyright Office Web site. Review the materials relating to licensing.
a. What is the fee to record a notice of intent to make and distribute phonorecords under 17 U.S.C. § 115?
b. What is the term of the Copyright Royalty Judges?
Access ASCAP’s Web site and search for works written by Billy Joel.
a. How many songs or works are identified?
b. Select New York State of Mind. Has Tony Bennett ever performed this work?
c. Search for works performed by Beyonce Knowles. Locate the song Irreplaceable. Is Beyonce the writer of the song?
Vision has asked two of its in-house marketing employees to create a jingle for a new ad campaign. There is no agreement as to who will own the copyright in the finished jingle. In 2000, Vision purchased all of the assets (including the intellectual property) of Ronald Hanson. The asset purchase agreement was in writing, but no documents were recorded at the Copyright Office.
Activities. What are the rights of Vision or its employees or others in the jingle? Discuss ownership rights and the duration of the copyright for the work. What are the rights, if any, of Ronald Hanson? Should the copyrights acquired by Vision in 2000 be recorded with the Copyright Office? Discuss.
Sue has purchased the John Grisham novel An Innocent Man. What copyright rights, if any, has Sue acquired when she purchased the book? What statute governs your answer?
Joanna and Kat are working together on a children’s book. Joanna is writing the story and Kat is doing the illustrations for the book. Kat’s husband has occasionally offered suggestions to Kat on the drawings. Who owns the copyright in the finished book? Discuss the rights of all parties, and indicate how long copyright in the work will last.
Use the facts in the preceding question. After the children’s book is published, Joanna asks Pam to compose a song about the characters in the book. Is Pam a joint author? Discuss fully.
ABC Inc. has asked its in-house computer programmers to create a program for the company that will help it track and locate documents. Who owns the copyright in the computer program? What principle governs your answer?
ABC Inc. has entered into a written agreement with an independent film company to produce a short film to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company. The written agreement states that the finished product is one made for hire. Who owns the copyright in the film? What if there had been no written agreement between the parties? Who would own the copyright? Discuss.