In the first half of 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an applicant's lack of knowledge about the law can excuse innocent mistakes in a copyright registration, while the Ninth Circuit refused to reinstate a $2.8 million verdict against Katy Perry over her hit "Dark Horse." Here's a look at the most significant copyright decisions so far this year.
Oracle v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. was ordered to pay Oracle Corp. $30 million in damages after a California federal jury in June found that HPE knowingly stole Oracle's customers by offering software updates that ripped off Oracle's copyrights.
The jury awarded $30 million in actual damages for copyright infringement and $24 million in damages for interfering with Oracle's customers, but the attorneys said during closings that the higher damages amount would apply. The jury also found HPE not liable for punitive damages.
The verdict should serve as a reminder to software service providers to "check and recheck" licensing terms before providing updates to other vendors' software products, or they risk being exposed to copyright infringement liability, Jason Bloom of Haynes and Boone, LLP said.
"The verdict should further embolden owners of software copyrights to pursue claims against third-party service providers who are not strictly complying with license terms," Bloom added.
Excerpted from Law360. To read the full article, click here.