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First off today, Andrew Chung at Reuters reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has overturned a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that would have granted it powers to block the importing of certain infringing goods via the Internet.
The case centers around a patent issue. Align Technology, a maker of custom-fitted plastic braces, sued competitor ClearCorrect claiming that the company was getting around patents it held in the technology by shipping the information to Pakistan, where technicians then created the digital model and transmitted via the Web back to Texas for manufacturing. Though the process violates Align Technology’s patents, since the patent infringement itself took place in Pakistan there seemed to be little that could be done.
However, the ITC ruled that it had the authority to order the blocking of such transmission. That caused interest in copyright circles as the ITC could, theoretically, also use its site blocking powers to stop importation of copyrighted materials. However, the appeals court ruled 2-1 that the data is not a tangible good and the ITC does not have authority over it. There is no word if a further appeal is planned.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Blizzard Entertainment has filed a lawsuit against the makers of several bots that are used by players to cheat at its popular games including World of Warcraft, Diablo and Heroes of Storm.
The lawsuit was filed against James Enright, known as Apoc, and several unnamed defendants that Blizzard believes created the bots, which go by names such as HonorBuddy, DemonBuddy and StormBuddy.
According to the lawsuit, the bots are not only a violation of the terms of service of the game, but also infringe copyright by making unlicensed use of Blizzard-owned code. However, Zwetan Letschew, the CEO of Bossland GmbH, has claimed that his company is the owner of the bots at issue and that Enright has nothing to do with them.
Finally today, Andreaus Preuss at CNN reports that a judge has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Taylor Swift and did so using lyrics from the hit singer.
Musician Jessie Braham sued Swift claiming that her hit song Shake it Off was a rip off of his track Haters Gone Hate, which was released a year earlier. However, the court disagreed with Braham’s analysis and ruled that his complaint did not have enough factual information to sustain a claim.
Braham is free to refile an amended claim but the judge, citing other Taylor Swift lyrics hinted that his claims are severely lacking. Perhaps would be best if he just shook it off.
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.