For our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, March 19, 2018, we will discuss the following cases:
Heller Ehrman LLP v. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, (Cal., March 5, 2018) (available here). A law firm dissolved in 2008 while some matters were still pending. During bankruptcy proceedings, creditors argued they were entitled to billable hours still in progress but not completed at the time of dissolution. The court held “a dissolved law firm has no property interest in legal matters handled on an hourly basis, and therefore, no property interest in the profits generated by its former partners’ work on hourly fee matters pending at the time of the firm’s dissolution.”
Passelaigue v. Getty Images (US), Inc., (S.D.N.Y., March 1, 2018) (available here). Getty Images had posted pictures of plaintiff model without her permission, the model sued for among other things, violation of her right of publicity. The court granted in part and denied in part Getty’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Getty argued the posting of the model’s images on the Getty website was not commercial but only for the purpose of obtaining licenses from users. The court rejected this argument, finding that posting photos to obtain a license was entirely commercial, and that this set forth a plausible claim for violation of plaintiff’s right of publicity.
All are invited to join us on March 19, 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.