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First off today, Mattel has announced that it will not appeal the most recent ruling in its case against MGA over their Bratz doll line but will appeal the $310 million judgment against them. The case, which stretches back to 2004, started when Mattel sued MGA claiming that the Bratz dolls were designed by Carter Bryant when he was employed by Mattel, making the design Mattel property. Initially the lower court agreed with Mattel, ruling that the doll’s intellectual property should be handed over to Mattel, but that ruling was overturned on appeal and a second trial resulted in a completely different outcome, one that saw Mattel being hit with a $310 million judgment against them for attorney’s fees and trade secret violations. Mattel says that they still believe Bratz to be Mattel property but don’t wish to go through another lengthy trial. However, Mattel wants much of the damages award overturned on grounds that the trade secret claims were filed too late and the court made errors in calculating attorney’s fees.
Next up today, TV streaming service Aereo has been sued by ABC/Disney, which claims that the service, when launched, will be an infringement of their copyright. Aereo will allow users to stream broadcast television to any Web-enabled device but will do so using small antennae and a remote DVR system. Aereo believes that this separates them from cable companies, which are required to pay to stream broadcast television as it is no different than the customer recording the video at home and streaming it from their system. The service is scheduled to launch March 14.
Finally today, music streaming service Grooveshark has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit against it filed by three of the major record labels. Claiming that the lawsuit is “among the least informative and substantive pleadings imaginable” Grooveshark’s parent company, Escape Media Group, is asking the court to dismiss the case, which in turn claims that Grooveshark illegally uploaded copyrighted music to its service in a bid to “seed” the service. Grooveshark works by having users upload tracks and then streaming them to other listeners. According to Grooveshark, they comply with DMCA takedown notices but the labels claim, based in part on an anonymous comment, that Grooveshark had its employees upload at least some of the tracks. Grooveshark calls this comment a “hearsay comment” and believes it to be inadmissible.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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