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Property I
Villanova University School of Law
Caudill, David S.

 
 
PROPERTY
CAUDILL
SPRING 2014
 
 
 
 
I.                   Intellectual Property
a.      Copyrights
                                                              i.      Copyrights
1.      May be extended to the author(s) of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, or architectural work
2.      Available for published & unpublished works
3.      Rights:
a.       Exclusive rights to do & authorize:
                                                                                                                                      i.      Reproduction
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Preparation of derivative works based upon the work
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Distribution of copies of the work to the public
                                                                                                                                  iv.      Displaying the work publically
4.      Notice:
a.       © (name of copyright owner)(year of first publication)
b.      Use of copyright notice is not required under U.S. Law (but is beneficial)
c.       Copyright arises upon creation of the work in some form of a medium (writing down, painting, etc.) àRegistration is not required
d.      Infringement:
                                                                                                                                      i.      Matter of federal law
                                                            ii.      original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium that is communicable and is not an idea, process, procedure, method of operation, concept or principle or discovery.
                                                          iii.      Copyright Infringement
1.       Only when there is evidence that the infringer had access to the copyrighted work. Mere coincidental similarity is not a copyright infringement if the alleged infringer produced the second creation with no influence from the first
2.      Fair use exception: people can use a portion of your copyrighted material for educational/news purposes
                                                          iv.      Unable to copyright:
1.      trivially simple idea or design,
2.      liberal translation of a work,
3.      a product of nature,
4.      a patent on an idea that is not tied to an invention that applies it,
5.      an idea that is not written down into some medium of expression
6.      something that has utilitarian (practical) function 
a.       Functionality: function or procedure, but you can trademark procedures as long as it meets the trademark requirements
                                                            v.      Creativity & Originality: ODDzON
1.      KOOSH Ball – “sculptural work” copy right denied
2.      Copy right requires creativity and originality.
3.       It can be found in a familiar shape such as a sphere only if creativity is added
4.      Functional Aspects of a work, such as tactile characteristics cannot be the basis of copyright.
b.      Trademarks
                                                              i.      Trademarks
1.      Definition:
a.       A word, phrase, logo or other distinctive indication that is used to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others (or service mark for services)
                                                                                                                                      i.      Some mark that you put on something that associates it with a particular manufacturer (i.e. Nike swoosh) (NJ Giants t shirts infringing on NY Giants)
2.      Prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark that is likely to cause confusion or mistake or to deceive purchases or potential purchases of the product or service (protected by state & federal gov’t)
a.       test is whether there is likelihood that potential consumer would be confused by its source (survey people to see if it was infringed)
b.      Trademark arises from use of the mark àRegistration not required
3.      TERM:
a.       ∞ àCan last indefinitely if owner continues to use the mark to ID goods or services
4.      Subscripts
a.       ® (registered trademark)
b.      ™ (trademark)
c.       SM (service mark)
                                                            ii.      functionality doctrine – functional aspects of a product are not registerable trademarks  
1.      feature of a product is functional if it is essential to the use or purpose of the article or if it affects the cost or quality of the article so that exclusive use of the feature would put competitors at a significant non-reputation-related disadvantage
                                                          iii.      Distinctive & secondary meaning: terms that are fanciful, arbitrary or suggestive are trademarkable even without secondary meaning.
1.      fanciful: one that is not otherwise a word (Exxon) (no secondary meaning necessary)
2.      arbitrary: one that has no connection to the product (Apple Computers) (no secondary meaning necessary)
3.      suggestive: merely suggest the product's identify (Coppertone tanning lotion) (no 2nd-ary meaning necessary)
4.      Descriptive: describes a good (Nice n' Soft); can be copyrightable with secondary meaning
5.      Generic Identification: cannot serve as trademarks (Beer) and is never copyrightable (must prove secondary meaning for trademark)
                                                          iv.      Register and Unregistered Trademarks
1.      Lanham Act § 1052
*(descriptive mark not protectable w/o secondary meaning)
a.       Requirements
                                                                                                                                      i.      A trademark by which the (1) goods of the applicant may (2) be distinguished from goods of another…
b.      Consequences
                                                                                                                                      i.      Shall not be refused registration because of its nature…
c.       Exceptions
                                                                                                                                      i.      Unless it (1) so resembles a registered mark as to cause “likelihood of confusion,” mistake, or deception or mis-descriptive, or (3) it comprises “functional” matter
d.      Definition
                                                                                                                                      i.      A mark can become distinctive through use in commerce – 5 years' exclusive continuous use is prima facie evidence of this
2.      Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products – P used green/gold pads – D attempted to use same green

   Each of 3 substances were well known, but still considered nonobvious
4.      Patent for battery is valid
                                                          iv.      Obvious – KSR
1.      Adjustable vehicle pedals – combination patent of 2 already used technologies
2.      D claiming that one of P’s products infringed D’s patent on connecting an adjustable vehicle control pedal to an electronic throttle control
a.       P argued that the combination of the two elements was obvious, and the claim was therefore not patentable. 
3.      TSM (“teach, suggest, or motivate”)
4.      The particular motivation nor avowed purpose is irrelevant for obviousness
d.      Trade Secrets
                                                              i.      Trade Secrets
1.      Prevents wrongful taking of confidential or secret information
a.       Independent development, reverse engineering and disclosure without obligation of confidentiality by a person in lawful possession of the information are defenses to any claim of misappropriation of a trade secret
2.      Protected as long as information remains secret
3.      Misappropriation of a trade secret can subject the wrongdoer to award damages, attorney fees, exemplary damages (misappropriation is a tort) and injunctive relief
                                                            ii.      Last only as long as it is a secret
                                                          iii.      Requirements:
1.      Information, [including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process] 2.      which derives independent, economic value, [actual or potential],
3.      which is not readily ascertainable by proper means by other persons who can obtain economic value form its use
4.      and which is the subject of efforts to maintain its secrecy that are reasonable under the circumstance
                                                          iv.      Trade Secret: Al Minor & Associates
1.      D recalled P’s client list from memory
2.      Test for determining whether information constitutes a trade secret:
a.       (1) the extent to which the information is known outside the business
b.      (2) the extent to which it is known to those inside the business (employees)
c.       (3) the precautions taken by the holder of the trade secret to guard the secrecy of the information
d.      (4) the savings effected and the value to the holder in having the information against competitors
e.       (5) the amount of effort or money expended in obtaining and developing the information
f.       (6) the amount of time and expense it would take for others to acquire and duplicate the information
3.      Majority of states hold that memorized information can be basis for trade secret violation