Copyright Case Law Updates (Lexology)

Copyright case law updates – Lexology.

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Likelihood of Confusion in Trademark Case

In July 2011, the United States District for the Northern District of California denied Apple, Inc.’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Amazon.com. Apple filed the action to stop Amazon.com from using the App Store mark to sell applications for Android mobile devices. The court held that the Apple did not show that its App Store mark is “famous” and clearly associated with Apple to buy software applications. The court also stated that Apple did not present sufficient evidence to show that Apple consumers would be confused into buying Amazon applications for Apple mobile devices.

Unlicensed Use of Image Considered Fair Use

A copyrighted image was included in a photograph as part of a video backdrop during select live performances by the band, Green Day. The image was¬†used by Green Day’s set designer without permission The owner of the image sued Green Day for copyright infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition. The District Court for the Central District of California granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Green Day. The court held that the use of the image was “transformative” because it added various elements such as grafitti and a large cross over the image. The court also found that the use of the image was minimal since the image was displayed once¬†during a single song as part of a 32-song set.