Alfonso Ribiero, known for his signature "Carlton" dance performed by his character on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," filed suit against Epic Games, owner of the Fortnite video game. Epic featured Ribiero's distinct dance moves as an add-on dance players may purchase for their Fortnite characters.
New Jersey fans of Ariana Grande may be interested to learn that the pop superstar is being sued for copyright infringement. A painter based in Las Vegas, Nev., claims that the singer used some of his work in her music video for "God Is a Woman" without his permission. The image, which shows a woman as a candle wick in the sky, was only altered slightly from the original painting, according to the federal lawsuit. The painter said he only learned about the music video after reading about it online.
New Jersey residents face a number of advertisements when they scroll the internet or even use their mobile phones. Two of the companies involved in creating the technology targeting ads to viewers' interests have been engaged in an intellectual property dispute over their software. Free Stream Media, otherwise known as Samba, patented a system that allows the company to send advertisements to mobile phones based on the owners' television viewing options. The company can charge advertisers for its ability to target advertisements based on customers' viewing choices.
YouTube has become home to many content creators in New Jersey and across the country who have released videos and amassed millions of fans. Still, some YouTubers have expressed concerns about how the platform addresses copyright complaints. One creator, known as TheFatRat, said that he has experienced frequent problems after other people and companies have tried to remove his original work after they attempted to claim it as their own. This means that the remaining video owners could receive thousands of dollars in advertising revenue as a result of fraudulent copyright claims.
The information age has created a raft of new challenges for copyright holders and content creators in New Jersey and around the country. Digital infringers often defend their actions by claiming that their use of copyrighted materials was permitted under the fair use doctrine or was exempted from copyright law because the original work was substantially transformed. These issues were recently argued in a case filed by a photographer against a New York media company.
For decades, boys and girls in New Jersey have participated in programs operated by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America's decision in 2017 to include girls has prompted the Girl Scouts of the United States of America to file a lawsuit alleging that BSA has confused consumers and infringed on trademarks held by the GSUSA.
In the pharmaceutical industry, patents can be the key to financial success. Multiple sclerosis patients in New Jersey and across the country have made Teva Pharmaceuticals' Copaxone a high-earning drug. The treatment for relapsing MS had brand-only sales of $527 for the 20 mg/mL dose from August 2017 to August 2018; the 40 mg/mL dose brought in $2.86 billion in sales for the Israeli company in the same period of time. While multiple generics have been introduced into the market to compete with Teva's 20 mg/mL original, the company has kept competitors out of the market with dosing patents on the higher-volume injection.
Terminating an employee can be a risk to a company, especially if that employee had access to trade secrets or confidential technology. An ex-employee can have many motivations for stealing and selling this type of information, but the motivations behind this activity don't change the fact that companies need to protect themselves. There are a few best practices that organizations should follow to ensure terminated employees can't access confidential data.
According to the Intellectual Property Litigation Risk Report, companies with a multinational presence may be overlooking key intellectual property issues. Firms based in New Jersey may face risks because intellectual property has become more mobile. Mergers between companies as well as the creation of new fields such as health tech have also factored in the increase of intellectual property disputes.
As companies in New Jersey and across the country struggle to protect their intellectual property rights in an era of easy digital information-sharing, many are turning to trade secrets litigation when confidential information is disclosed. After the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, it became easier for wronged parties to bring a claim under federal law for disclosure of trade secrets. At a time when intellectual property is key to the success of technology and other businesses, these claims are a powerful tool.