A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Douglas Lopez, Unsplash

How, in the 8,000 year history of law, have we not come up with a better name than the "at issue" doctrine? I hesitate to call it the shame of our profession, but it's firmly in the running.

I pose some alternatives below. To make it clear, any highlighted words refer to the doctrine formerly known as "at issue." Feel free to use going forward -- creative commons or whatever.

This Will Go On For Longer Than You Think

Judge Burke had an interesting case regarding the sneaky peak doctrine. In Sensormatic Electronics, LLC v. Genetec (USA) Inc., the issue arose in the context of an inequitable conduct allegation, where defendants sought evidence about what exactly …

Alfons Morales, Unsplash

In May 2020, West Publishing and Thomson Reuters filed a copyright action against ROSS Intelligence LLC, alleging that ROSS (through a third party) scraped content from WestLaw to start its own Artificial-Intelligence-based legal research platform. (ROSS has since ceased operations but persists solely to litigate this case.)

Down the line, I imagine the case may raise some interesting questions about AI and copyright. For example, what are the copyright implications of ROSS's use of Westlaw's copyrighted compilation of otherwise public domain materials to train an AI? Isn't that fair use (talk about transformative!)? If not, what are the damages? And so on.

For now, ROSS has moved to dismiss on the ground that West failed to …

Francois Olwage, Unsplash

The District of Delaware issued a copyright decision today that I found fascinating.

As the Court describes it, back in 2011 a website called Flavorwire posted an article describing (and displaying) nine images from Tom Hussey Photography, LLC, without permission from the photographer.

In 2018, the defendant in the case, BDG, bought the Flavorwire website, including that article. After BDG purchased the site, the photographer discovered the article and sued them for infringement in Delaware, where BDG is incorporated.

In response, BDG moved to dismiss, arguing that it had merely bought, operated, and maintained the website itself (the asset, not the company that created the website), and therefore that it never committed a "volitional …