Log in

Pay Dues |   Help  |  CLE Forms

PAst Events


May 10, 2023

In the Wake of Raging Bull: A Growing Circuit Split Since Petrella v. MGM

In the 2014 Petrella v. MGM case, the Supreme Court decided that laches did not bar a copyright claim brought within three years of infringement. In so doing, the Court noted that under the Copyright Act’s “separate accrual” rule, a plaintiff can recover damages only for infringements that occurred within three years of suing. In the wake of Petrella, the Courts of Appeals are divided about whether the three-year damages bar also applies to infringement claims that accrue under the discovery rule. In 2020, the Second Circuit, in Sohm v. Scholastic, Inc, ruled that it does; but last year the Ninth Circuit, in Starz Entertainment, LLC v. MGM Domestic Television Distribution LLC, came to the contrary conclusion. And in February of this year, the Eleventh Circuit, in Nealy v. Warner Chappell Music, Inc., joined the Ninth Circuit on its side of the circuit split.

Please join us for a panel that will discuss the legal and practical impacts of this deepening circuit split that may make its way to the Supreme Court.

Jay Srinivasan is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The Daily Journal named him to its 2022 “Top Antitrust Lawyers” list for California.  He represents a wide range of clients, primarily in the entertainment and tech industries in high-stakes litigation matters, and also provides antitrust advice in the context of mergers/joint collaborations, government investigations, and business practices. Mr. Srinivasan represented MGM in the Starz v. MGM case.

Tyler Ochoa is a professor at the High Tech Law Institute of Santa Clara University School of Law. He is a recognized expert in copyright law and is the author of annual updates to the treatise The Law of Copyright (originally by the late Howard Abrams). He has also published three articles on statutes of limitations.  Before joining the faculty at Santa Clara, he served as a professor and co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law at Whittier Law School. He was also a clerk for the Honorable Cecil F. Poole of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and an associate with the law firm of Brown & Bain in Palo Alto, California. In the Starz v. MGM case, Professor Ochoa submitted an amicus brief in support of Starz.

The panel will be moderated by Kenneth M. Trujillo-Jamison, a partner at Willenken LLP. He has extensive experience litigating entertainment matters, including defending a major studio against copyright infringement claims involving animated films and a prominent portrait photographer in a right-of-publicity case brought by the rapper Jay-Z. Kenneth wrote a recently published article in the Daily Journal about this panel’s topic.

Reading Materials

April 11, 2023

What's in a Name? Overlapping Trademark, Publicity and Copyright Laws Involving a Person's Identity

A well-known fashion designer sells the business that bears his name — including the associated trademark rights — for a lucrative sum. How, if at all, may he later use his name or appear in public to publicize his involvement with a new venture?  A young designer’s employer requires her to transfer trademark rights in her name as a condition of employment. Post-separation, can her employer force her to remove social media posts promoting her work and turn over social media handles under her name? If a musical artist forms a company to hold and license out trademark rights in her identity, can control of the company — and the ability to authorize others to use her identity for commercial purposes — be transferred through a bankruptcy or divorce settlement, and if so, what are the implications for her next album? And what is the role of publicity rights in the analysis, particularly the elements rooted in a person’s control and dignity rights, and are those rights even cognizable if they aren't held by the individual?   

Join Professor Jennifer Rothman, America’s preeminent publicity rights scholar and a leading expert in trademark and copyright law, in sorting out the fragmentary and overlapping IP-related rights in a person’s identity, and the real-life implications for artists, artisans and influencers.  Professor Rothman posits that trademark law's ancient personality-based roots can help lead us through this "identify thicket” in ways that are both surprising and illuminating.