Morgan Lewis on Intellectual Property and Technology
published on:September 2002
In this Issue:
Court Spins Victory for Spider-Man:
On July 30, 2002, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a curt dismissal of all claims brought by Sherwood 48 Associates and other owners of three Times Square properties (collectively, “Sherwood”) against Sony Corporation and the producers of Spider-Man, one of this summer’s blockbuster movies. The court summarily dismissed the plaintiffs’ trademark, trade dress and trespass claims, ruling that the First Amendment protected Sony’s digitally modified depiction of Times Square.
Angling for Priority: Provisional Disclosures:
Provisional patent applications were first accepted in the United States in 1995, and since that time, such applications have become a regular part of many IP portfolios. A provisional application may be used to provide the priority date for a nonprovisional (“regular”) utility patent application that is filed within one year of the provisional.
The Supreme Court will open its 2002-2003 term with Eldred v. Ashcroft, a case highly anticipated by lawyers, artists, and Mickey Mouse fans alike. At issue is the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (the “CTEA”) (codified at 17 U.S.C. §§ 302-305), which extended all copyrights for an additional 20 years, from 50 years after the death of the creator to 70 years (or from 75 years to 95 years in the case of corporate copyright holders).
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