Although Disney's 'Frozen" came out in 2013, a 2017 court case may have some people in California feeling a bit frigid. In the movie, the song 'Let It Go" became a breakout hit and was lauded by critics. Unfortunately, a musician who believes that 'Let It Go" is too similar to his own 2008 song, 'Volar", is suing Disney and the two singers who performed 'Let It Go" for both the movie and radio versions.
As New Jersey residents gear up for Halloween, they may head to local stores to purchase costumes. Halloween costumes are big business, and because of the money involved, they may be the subject of intellectual property lawsuits.
It seems self-driving cars are on their way to New Jersey and the rest of the nation. However, there's a lot of debate and conflict regarding which companies will lead the way. While tech giant Google has spun off its own self-driving vehicle company, called Waymo, the ride sharing service Uber has thrown itself into the fray as well. However, Waymo is claiming that Uber's technology was not developed or acquired legally. It has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming trade secret violations.
Intellectual property plays a significant role in the economy of New Jersey, and patent holders have a financial interest in defending their ideas. The Inter Partes Review system developed five years ago by the America Invents Act was intended to be an alternative to lengthy litigation when someone challenged the validity of a patent. The process gave the Patent Trial and Appeals Board the ability to settle a patent question. Critics, including many patent holders, have concerns about the fairness and consistency of the process.
The song "We Shall Overcome" associated with the civil rights movement is known to many New Jersey residents. Although based upon an old African-American spiritual, people claiming copyright to the more recent version asserted their rights by declining to license the song for use in a movie. The resulting legal case pitted plaintiffs who argued that the modern version should be in the public domain against those insisting that the modern authors made enough changes to the original to qualify for copyright protection.
New Jersey residents will likely associate light blue jewelry boxes with Tiffany & Co. It can take decades to nurture and develop this kind of consumer awareness, and major companies generally act quickly when their intellectual property is used without their permission. Tiffany sued the Costco Wholesale Corporation in 2013 after learning that engagement rings made by other jewelry makers were being marketed as Tiffany rings. Costco attorneys denied any wrongdoing, but their arguments failed to impress the judge hearing the case.
New Jersey business owners may be interested to learn that, on July 7, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA filed a lawsuit against a former executive who it said divulged trade secrets and other information of a confidential nature with her boyfriend. It alleged that the boyfriend is the president and CEO of Apotex Inc., a rival drug company.
New Jersey residents may be aware that the surviving members of the Beatles and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison have been involved in a number of lawsuits in recent years. The most recent litigation was filed against the Beatles' holding company Apple Corps Limited by a firm founded by the promoter behind the band's 1965 concert at New York City's Shea Stadium. The litigation was initiated over footage taken during the show that was recently used in the 2016 documentary film 'Eight Days a Week," but a New York judge dismissed the case on July 26.
New Jersey residents may be interested in a development in the lawsuit that self-driving car manufacturer Waymo has filed against Uber. Waymo, formerly affiliated with Google, accused Uber of trade secret theft, but it has now dropped three of four patent claims it had against the technology and transportation company.
Music fans and copyright holders in New Jersey may be interested in learning that Sir Paul McCartney, who rose to international fame as a member of the Beatles, settled a long-running dispute over the rights to the band's songs. The settlement, reached at the end of June 2017, involved an undisclosed sum of money and assurances that McCartney will receive the copyrights as early as October 2018.