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Ninth Circuit Holds Hookah Container Not Entitled To Copyright Protection

In INHALE, INC. V. STARBUZZ TOBACCO, INC., the Ninth Circuit held that the shape of a hookah water container was not entitled to copyright protection because the container was a useful article whose sculptural features could not be separately identified from, or exist independently of, its utilitarian aspects. The court also held that whether an item’s shape is distinctive does not affect conceptual separability, and attorneys’ fees were rightfully awarded to the defendant. You can access the decision here:¬†http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/07/09/12-56331.pdf

Jacob Zodieru and Payam Moradian

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