California residents who are interested in intellectual property matters should be aware of a ruling of the United States Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The court rejected in part and affirmed in part the dismissal of a district court regarding the allegations of copyright infringement, breach of contract and the violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The court determined that there were aspects of the claims that were disqualifying based on the patent infringement suit that was previously filed.
The plaintiff filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the defendant in 2013 alleging that the defendant had created a piracy detection technology similar to the one the plaintiff created and after the defendant became aware of critical data pertaining to the plaintiff's technology and digital rights management product. When the court determined in a separate proceeding that one of the patents of the digital rights management product was invalid, the plaintiff dismissed the patent suit voluntarily and with prejudice.
After one year, when the plaintiff found that a number of the defendant's products had the copyright watermark for the plaintiff's digital rights management product, the plaintiff initiated another lawsuit against the defendant for DMCA violation, copyright infringement and breach of contract pertaining to the claims of copying and reverse engineering. The plaintiff's entire suit was dismissed by the district court, which stated that there claim preclusion because of the identical facts and evidence presented in the copyright infringement and patent suits, both of which pertained to the intellectual property rights of the digital rights management product. The plaintiff appealed the decision.
An attorney who handles intellectual property rights cases may assist clients with protecting their intellectual assets. Litigation might be used to prevent other parties from infringing and monetizing copyrights and other similar assets that belong to clients.