For our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, February 26, 2018, we will discuss the following cases:

Hall v. Swift, (C.D Cal February 13, 2018) (available here). Plaintiffs Hall and Butler were co-authors of the song Playas Gon’ Play. Taylor Swift wrote a song titled Shake it off. Plaintiff sued Defendant for copyright infringement, alleging that plaintiff’s lyric:

“Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate”

was infringed by Swift’s song. Defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim was sustained. The court took judicial notice of the fact that many songs involve the concept of “haters” and “players”, and found plaintiff’s lyrics “too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative to warrant protection under the Copyright Act.”

Xitronix Corp. v. KLA-Tencor Corp., (CAFC February 9, 2018) (available here). The Federal Circuit transferred a case to the 5th circuit despite both parties wanting the Federal Circuit to hear the case. Plaintiff sued defendant under section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust act, arguing that a major component of the case involved fraudulent prosecution of a Patent before the USPTO. The court refused jurisdiction, reasoning that “[t]he underlying patent issue in this case, while important to the parties and necessary for resolution of the claims, does not present a substantial issue of patent law.”

All are invited to join us on February 26, 2018, at noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Elisha Manzur by 9 am Monday morning.