Copyrights protect personal and artistic expression in various media, including words (prose, poetry, song lyrics), music, pictures, sounds, sculptures, architecture, computer programs, and more. Keleti+Moradian LLP can help you at every stage of your creation’s life cycle.
- Registration While registration is not a requirement for copyright protection, it has many benefits. It is an essential requirement to bringing a lawsuit for infringement, and if a work is registered before it is infringed, the legal remedies are more comprehensive. Keleti+Moradian LLP can complete the registration process and provide advice on how best to protect works through registration.
- Terminations When the United States transitioned from fixed terms of copyright protection (an initial term of 28 years initial and a renewal term of another 28 years) to terms based on the lifetime of the copyright creator plus additional years, a provision was included in the law to make it possible for authors and their survivors to assert a right to terminate some transfers and begin to benefit from copyright ownership. The rules are extremely complicated, and Keleti+Moradian LLP can help navigate them for you sucessfully.
Keleti+Moradian LLP lawyers have represented plaintiffs, defendants, appellants, and respondents in intellectual property litigation; several cases have led to published opinions, including:
- Cosmetic Ideas v. IAC/InterActiveCorp, 606 F.3d 612 (9th Cir. 2010);
In this precedent-setting case, which went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, a K+M LLP lawyer sued the Home Shopping Network for copyright infringement on behalf the designer of a piece of costume jewelry. Although the trial court dismissed the lawsuit on a procedural technicality, the jewelry designer successfully appealed, setting a new precedent as a result. Defendants attempted to have the court of last resort review the decision, but the decision on appeal was not disturbed. Thanks to the tenacity of the K+M LLP lawyer, who successfully fought two appeals and brought a second lawsuit, the parties settled once it became a case on the merits.
- Peterson v. Highland Music, Inc., 140 F.3d 1313 (9th Cir. 1998) (represented prevailing plaintiffs at trial only);
The '60s band The Kingsmen, famous for such hits as "Louie, Louie," did not receive any royalties for decades. Despite a statute of limitations, a K+M LLP attorney successfully sued for rescission in order to get back the band's masters, a decision affirmed on appeal.
- Stratta v. George Duke Enters., 43 U.S.P.Q.2d 1628, 1997 WL 282250 (S.D.N.Y.)
A conductor sued over a trivial misspelling of his name on an album's credits. In bi-coastal litigation, with a K+M LLP representing defendant, courts dismissed the cases against jazz great George Duke' company on motions to dismiss, agreeing that even if everything the plaintiff alleged were true, he had no case.
- Marascalco v. Fantasy Inc., 953 F.2d 469 (9th Cir. 1991), affirming 17 U.S.P.Q.2d 1409 (C.D. Cal. 1990).
The heirs of "Bumps" Blackwell, whose most famous work was his collaboration on the song "Good Golly Miss Molly," sued to obtain copyright renewal rights. A K+M LLP attorney was on the heirs' side, prevailing both at trial and on appeal. The case presented a novel fact pattern, and prior decisions suggested the heirs might not prevail over the music publisher, but the decisions in this case created a split in authority which was eventually resolved by Congress revising the Copyright Act.
Other examples of successful results obtained by K+MLLP lawyers include:
- Dahdoul Textiles, Inc. vs. Zinatex Imports, Inc., Case No. 2:15-cv-04011-ODW-AS (C.D. Cal.)
This copyright infringement action involving a carpet design was brought by rug importer based in Southern California against defendants based in Illinois and represented by K+M LLP, Defendants' attorney persuaded the court to transfer the action to Illinois, where the plaintiff stopped pursuing the case.
- Direct Wheel Inc. vs. Strada Wheels Inc., Case No. 2:15-cv-02580-GW-FFM (C.D. Cal.)
In this design patent infringement lawsuit over an allegedly infringing automotive wheel design, K+M LLP represented plaintiff and achieved a settlement, avoiding a trial which would have been time-consuming and expensive.
- B.R. Guest, LLC vs. SOCO Hospitality Group LLC, Case No. 3:13-cv-00110-SI (N.D. Cal.)
An allegedly infringing menu design was the focus of this lawsuit between two fast-casual restaurants. A K+MLLP attorney representing defendant SOCO Hospitality Group ably negotiated a settlement quickly before trial, with a minimum of court involvement.
- Oser Communications Group, LLC et al vs. Solar Energy Trade Shows, LLC, Case No. 8:12-cv-01534 (C.D. Cal.)
A publisher of a trade magazine brought an action for trade libel, and intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic relations against a trade show and trade group over allegedly disparaging e-mails sent to conference attendees about the publisher and its publication. A K+M LLP attorney successfully moved to dismiss the case, because even if everything the publisher alleged were true, the publisher had no case, because the e-mail messages contained truthful statements and were protected by freedom of speech.
- Dorothy Fue Wong vs. Village Green Owners Association, Case No. 2:14-cv-03803 (C.D. Cal.)
The court dismissed this suit for an unspecified violation of intellectual property rights and various related claims by an author against a homeowners association, represented by a K+M LLP attorney. The author had undertaken to write a history of the Village Green, a condominium complex in Los Angeles, which applied for inclusion on the listing of National Historic Landmarks. The author, who claimed to have expended more than $146,000 on the project, sued the association for various wrongs. The association, represented by a K+M LLP lawyer, succeeded in moving the court to dismiss the incoherent complaint, on which the court ruled without any oral argument because the papers were sufficient for the court to decide the matter.
- Golden State Foods Corp. vs. Columbia/Okura LLC, Case No. 2:13-cv-08150-RSWL-VBK (C.D. Cal.)
A fatal industrial accident took place in a plant of a supplier to McDonald's of such things as packets of sauces for chicken nuggets, where heavy machinery crushed a worker to death. The food service supplier sued the maker of the mechanized equipment at the foodservice company's factory. A K+M LLP lawyer scrutinized the contracts between the food service supplier and the equipment maker, and successfully moved for summary judgment on the basis that the food service supplier failed to engage in alternative dispute resolution (mediation and arbitration) before filing a lawsuit.
- Kusha, Inc. vs. International Modern Investment, Case No. 3:12-CV-01140-LAB-MDD (S.D. Cal.)
The court transferred this trademark infringement action over the brand name "Royal" on food products. A K+M LLP attorney representing defendant persuaded the court that plaintiff had brought the action in the wrong place, because the only thing that happened there is that, after defendant placed the products bearing the allegedly infringing marks in the stream of commerce, some products eventually sold there. Defendant did not send the products there for sale, and there were no allegations or evidence that defendant passed off its goods as plaintiff’s there, or even knew they would be sold there.
- Anthony Ormesher and Jose Alves vs. Roger Raskin, Case No. 2:09-cv-06161 (C.D. Cal.)
The songwriters of a song used in the motion picture "Slingshot" successfully sued for copyright infringement. Plaintiff songwriters had submitted the song to defendants who in turn claimed to be its songwriters when they submitted the song for inclusion in the film. A K+M LLP attorney succeeded in moving for summary adjudication on the issue of liability, because the uncontroverted evidence showed that that there was no need to try the issue. After the defendant songwriters filed for bankruptcy, plaintiffs' attorney moved for relief from the automatic stay in bankruptcy, as well as bankruptcy adversary proceedings to determine that the damages for willful copyright infringement could not be discharged in bankruptcy. Plaintiffs' attorney also succeeded in moving for monetary sanctions against defendants' attorney. These steps taken after winning the motion for summary adjudication propelled a settlement of all the litigation.
- Joe Solo vs. Jeremy Dawson, Case No. 8:09-cv-05623-JST-RC (C.D. Cal.)
A music publisher sued for copyright infringement regarding the hit song "Le Disko" by the band Shiny Toy Guns. A K+M LLP attorney represented Stephen Petree, the brother Chad Petree, of one of the band members. The court dismissed the case against Stephen Petree, who proved that he had written the song which band member Jeremy Dawson had re-worked into a new song for the band. As an author of the original song, Stephen Petree could not be an infringer.