Federal Courts; Intellectual Property


The Second Circuit has had a profound impact on copyright law. Judge Learned Hand’s decision in Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp. helped define for later generations the fundamental idea/expression dichotomy. The transformative use doctrine has not been without its critics, but other leading decisions have helped write the rules of the road for the e-commerce era, both in the copyright and trademark contexts, as well as the right of publicity, albeit a creation of state statutory law, is generally considered an area of intellectual property and is covered in this article. Law school catalogs usually include trade secret law within the purview of intellectual property, but because trade secret issues often arise in employment disputes, this subject has not been included.