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.
Many New Jersey residents own devices made by Samsung. The world's leading cellphone manufacturer lost a lengthy court battle with its rival Apple over patent infringement, and now a Korean university has been awarded damages to be paid by Samsung as well. Once again, the claim against Samsung was patent infringement.
The clever names that craft brewers give their drinks might attract beer enthusiasts in New Jersey, but the labels that often draw upon regional traits have become a source of trademark disputes. Stony Creek Brewery, located on the East Coast, has filed a federal lawsuit against Peak Organic Brewing and Shipyard Brewing on the West Coast.
Moviegoers in New Jersey and around the country will continue to see trailers for R-rated film featuring puppet characters similar to those created by Jim Henson. Sesame Workshop filed a lawsuit on May 21 claiming that the trailers, which feature the tagline 'NO SESAME. ALL STREET," are tarnishing valuable intellectual property by depicting beloved children's characters taking drugs, using foul language and behaving violently. However, a New York federal judge was unconvinced by these arguments and ruled that the trailers could continue to be used to promote Melissa McCarthy's upcoming film.
New Jersey residents who have been following the long court battle between Samsung and Apple might be interested in learning that the two companies will again head to court for a retrial on damages in Apple's patent lawsuit win. The original patent infringement lawsuit was filed by Apple against Samsung in 2011, and a jury awarded a verdict in Apple's favor in 2012 in the amount of $1.02 billion.