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October 2017 Archives

Cheering On Useful Articles

The Copyright Act of 1976 was created to protect original works with artistic qualities such as literature, music, screenplays, etc. However, the Copyright Act does not protect "useful article[s]" which are "article[s] having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information." 17 U.S.C. §101. However, what happens when a useful article has some artistic features? In this instance, the Copyright Act allows protection of the artistic features of a useful article if these artistic features "can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article." 17 U.S.C. §101. However this language sparked different tests throughout the circuits on when a feature can be identified separately and survive independently. This year, the Supreme Court of the United States took up a case that looked at what was the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a "useful article" is copyrightable under the Copyright Act.

Understanding Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation

Here at Taylor Dunham and Rodriguez LLP we pride ourselves on our litigation skills in the courtroom, but we also seek other avenues to solve a client's problem. At Taylor Dunham and Rodriguez LLP we are also accomplished in the realm of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

How Confidential are Settlement Agreements?

Most civil litigation ends in settlement. These settlements are usually entered and enforced through a signed settlement agreement. One of the most common (and important) clauses of these agreements is a confidentiality clause. This clause is primarily inserted to ensure the amount of the settlement is prevented from becoming public. However, a confidentiality clause is not enough to protect the settlement agreement from future discovery requests.

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