SCOTUScast 5-12-16 featuring Christopher Newman
On April 25, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. Academic textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Wiley) owns the American copyright for textbooks and often assigns its rights to its foreign subsidiaries to publish, print, and sell its textbooks abroad. Supap Kirtsaeng, a Thai citizen who came to the United States in 1997 to study mathematics, asked friends and family in Thailand to buy the English-language versions of his textbooks in Thailand, where they were cheaper and mail them to him. Kirtsaeng would then sell these textbooks in America, reimburse his friends and family, and make a profit.
In 2008, Wiley sued Kirtsaeng for copyright infringement. He ultimately prevailed before the U.S. Supreme Court on the question whether the “first sale” doctrine--under which the owner of a “lawfully made” copy can dispose of it without permission of the copyright owner--applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad. On remand, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the “first sale” doctrine provided Kirstaeng with a complete defense to Wiley’s infringement claim. Kirtsaeng thereafter sought an award of attorneys’ fees pursuant to Section 505 of the Copyright Act, which allows the award of fees to a prevailing party at the court’s discretion. The federal Courts of Appeals have applied several different standards in resolving such fee requests. Here, the Second Circuit affirmed the denial of attorneys’ fees to Kirtsaeng based on the district court’s view that Wiley had taken an “objectively reasonable” position in the underlying litigation.
The U.S. Supreme Court again granted certiorari, to address the following question: What is the appropriate standard for awarding attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party under section 505 of the Copyright Act?
To discuss the case, we have Christopher M. Newman, who is Associate Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. 2015 National Lawyers Convention
The Constitution specifically vests power in Congress to grant authors and inventors exclusive rights in their writings and inventions. The first Congress passed laws setting forth the requirements and procedures for granting patents and copyrights. In these early days, copyrights were granted for registered works, and Thomas Jefferson himself examined patents as a member of President George Washington's cabinet. As IP laws developed, however, they gave substantial deference to both the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and the Copyright Office, on matters of reviewing, granting, limiting, and defining IP rights. These agencies have come to wield significant influence over the U.S. IP regime. Recently, and notwithstanding its delegations of power, Congress has been particularly active in passing new patent and copyright legislation. Sometimes Congress specifies how the law shall be interpreted and administered, and other times it delegates this to the relevant agencies, or to the courts. By considering specific examples, this panel will examine the role of Congress, Congressional delegation, and executive agencies in crafting and administering our modern intellectual property systems.
Intellectual Property: The Role of Congress and Executive Agencies in 21st Century IP Regimes
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- Prof. Sandra Aistars, Clinical Professor, George Mason School of Law and Sr. Scholar and Director, Copyright Policy & Research, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property
- Prof. John F. Duffy, Samuel H. McCoy II Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
- Prof. David S. Olson, Associate Professor, Boston College Law School
- Prof. Arti K. Rai, Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law and co-Director, Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy
- Moderator: Hon. Thomas B. Griffith, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
The Mayflower Hotel 2015 National Student Symposium
Our patent system has historically been thought to be an engine of innovation, but it is much criticized today. Is a one-size-fits all model for patent duration appropriate in today's technological environment or does it simply incentivize unnecessary litigation? For instance, the rapid pace of technological change in some areas may obviate the need of lengthy patents in some areas. Should certain innovation—such as business processes be patentable? Should the patent office be reorganized or split up to better assess patents. What other types of incentives, including those provided by copyright or prizes, provide alternatives to patents?
- Ms. Phyllis Turner-Brim, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Intellectual Ventures
- Prof. Doug Melamed, Visiting Professor, Stanford Law School
- Prof. Michael Meurer, Boston University School of Law
- Mr. Adam Mortara, Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP
- Moderator: Hon. Danny J. Boggs, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
This program was presented on February 21, 2015, as part of the 2015 Federalist Society National Student Symposium. 2014 National Lawyers Convention
Carly Fiorina delivered this address at the 2014 National Lawyers Convention on Friday, November 14, 2014. She was introduced by Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups at The Federalist Society.
- Mrs. Carly Fiorina, Fiorina Group
- Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society
Mayflower Hotel 2014 National Lawyers Convention
The U.S. Supreme Court has in the past several years begun to take several intellectual property cases each term, often including important copyright cases, like last term’s American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. At the same time, the legislature has already substantially revised patent rights, seems to be ready to revisit patent rights yet again, and is poised to consider revisions to copyright. On the table seem to be issues of the length of copyright term, fair use, and more. Our panel of experts will discuss the past present and future of IP and copyright.
The Federalist Society's Intellectual Property Practice Group presented this panel on "Copyright Revision" on Thursday, November 13, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
- Ms. Danielle Aguirre, Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, National Music Publishers’ Association
- Mr. Usman Ahmed, Policy Counsel, eBay Inc.
- Prof. David S. Olson, Associate Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
- Ms. Katherine A. Oyama, Senior Copyright Policy Counsel, Google, Inc.
- Prof. Mark F. Schultz, Senior Scholar and Director of Academic Programs, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, George Mason University School of Law; Law Professor, Southern Illinois University
- Moderator: Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit; Professor of Law, George Mason University