Earlier this week, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Allen v. Cooper, which relates to photos and videos of the sunken remains of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the centuries-old ship once captained by the famed pirate Blackbeard. The plaintiff in that case claimed that North Carolina unlawfully used his copyrighted works. Only two months earlier, the Trump Administration also faced a copyright infringement imbroglio. Following the official Twitter unveiling of the seal for the newly created U.S. Space Force, critics noted that the seal bore a striking similarity to that of Starfleet, the scientific and military force in the fictional universe of the television and film property, Star Trek. While some pointed to the (fairly far-fetched) trademark implications of the Space Force logo, many voices on the Internet also alleged that the government infringed on the copyright for the Starfleet seal. These two cases have brought the issues of copyright infringement and sovereign immunity into the spotlight. To resolve them, one must first look to the tenets of copyright law.
- Other Barks & Bites for Friday, February 23: Intel and Microsoft Announce Landmark Chip and IP Deal; Court Overturns $1 Billion Copyright Infringement Ruling Against Cox; and Reddit and Google Set to Announce AI Content Licensing Agreement
- Members of Congress Blast Biden on March-In Proposal and Pandemic Accord
- Rader’s Ruminations: The Most Striking (and Embarrassing) Legal Mistake in Modern Patent Law
- Supreme Court Denies Five IP Petitions on Issues from IPR Joinder to Contributory Trademark Infringement
- ‘Where Are the Designers on This?’: Some Post-Argument Thoughts on LKQ v. GM