For our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, October 31, 2016, we will discuss the following:
Direct Technologies, LLC v. Electronic Arts, Inc. (9th Cir. September 6, 2016) (available here). Electronic Arts is the maker of a game called The Sims. EA contracted with a company to develop a flash drive in the shape of one of the icons from the game. Direct Technologies created a prototype, and EA approved the prototype. EA then had a company in China produce the product. EA sued for copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation. The district court held in favor of EA for the copyright claim finding that the flash drive was not sufficiently original. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s finding as to the copyright claim. The district court also held that Direct Technologies’s contribution to the flash drive did not derive independent economic value, and therefore found that there was not any trade secret misappropriation.
Smith v. Barnesandnoble.com, LLC (2nd Cir October 6, 2016 ) (available here). Smith sued BarnesandNoble.com alleging direct and contributory copyright infringement. Smith had granted Barnesandnoble.com a license that allowed end-users who acquired a free sample to “duplicate, share, and reproduce” the work as long as it was for “non-commercial use.” Smith terminated the license likely due to low sales figures, but Barnesandnoble.com maintained the works on its cloud based system. The district court dismissed Smith’s motion for summary judgment, and the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling finding that Barnesandnoble.com’s access was within the scope of the license granted to it.
All are invited to join us on Monday, October 31, 2016, 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.