On March 8, 2018, Oliver & Grimsley’s Pamela Riewerts attended the 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference, hosted by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce in Columbia, Maryland. The conference celebrated women entrepreneurs in the Maryland, D.C., and Virginia area. Phenomenal women speakers presented — such as Laura Gamble, the regional President of Maryland PNC Bank, and Col. Laurie Moe Buckhout (U.S. Army), the President and CEO of The Corvus Group, a business providing training services to scientific and technical clients.
Tracey Ellison of impactHR, First Lady Yumi Hogan, and Pamela Riewerts, Esq.—patent attorney and partner at Oliver & Grimsley, LLC.
In addition to supporting women leaders, the conference also focused on advancing women owned businesses. Speaker panels throughout the day featured topics such as “Energizing and Motivating Women,” “Leading Multi-Generational Teams to Success and Life Balance,” “Succeeding and Soaring in Male Dominated Fields,” and “Rising to and Inspiring from the Top.” Maryland’s First Lady, Yumi Hogan, also made an appearance and inspired and congratulated women on being great leaders in everyday life. The event featured sponsors such as Creatrix Inc. – providing services in software and systems engineering and architecture, and impactHR – providing HR and business solutions.
We appreciate the opportunity to participate in this worthwhile event, and for the opportunity to exhibit and speak with women business owners on the value of intellectual property.
Last week, the Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court ruling that the artists of the 2013 “Blurred Lines” best-selling single infringed the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up”.
In 2013, the family of the late Marvin Gaye sued musicians Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, and T.I. (Clifford Harris, Jr.), and related recording companies, for copyright infringement. “Blurred Lines” was the best-selling single in the world that year and the Gaye family believed it to be similar in composition to Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up”. In 2015, the trial jury agreed. After three years of an appeal process brought by the musician defendants, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the infringement ruling (Williams, et al. v. Gaye, et al. Case No. 15-56880)(March 21, 2018).
The decision was not unanimous. Judge Nguyen wrote a dissenting opinion stating that the songs “differ in melody, harmony, and rhythm.” She also noted that it can be “challenging for judges untrained in music to parse two pieces of sheet music for extrinsic similarity. But however difficult this exercise, we cannot simply defer to the conclusions of experts about the ultimate finding of substantial similarity. […] Judges must still decide whether, as a matter of law, these elements collectively support a finding of substantial similarity.” This ruling ultimately changes the music industry landscape moving forward, as it is arguable that the decision improperly protects an artist’s form of musical style. The majority opinion written by Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr., however, focused mostly on the technicalities of the case and the grounds for appeal, determining that the trial court erred only in finding Interscope Records and T.I. liable.
The Gaye family is entitled to approximately a $5.3 million-dollar judgement and running royalties of 50% on future songwriter and publishing revenues. The damages breakdown consisted of: $3,188,528 in actual damages, plus profits of $1,768,192 against Thicke and $357,631 against Williams (and companies collecting royalties on William’s behalf). TI and his associated recording company were cleared of any infringement.
***To investigate or consider copyright protection for music, lyrics, or other works of art, or for more information, please contact Pamela K. Riewerts, Esq., partner at Oliver & Grimsley, LLC. Pamela may be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 1991, inspired to help the citizens of Africa, Trevor Baylis created the wind-up radio. With a substantial lack of electricity or batteries, information was hard to spread across the continent and during this time, the AIDS crisis was rampant. By creating a radio that could run off of a crank, Baylis helped deliver the news to hundreds of thousands of people in Africa. Baylis’ U.S. patent for the crank radio issued in June 1999, as U.S. Pat. No. 5,917,310.
Baylis went on to invent a shoe that could generate electricity as you walked. He also developed products for people with disabilities such as one-handed scissors. He created the Trevor Baylis Foundation which hoped to help inventors protect their work.
Trevor Baylis passed away on March 5, 2018 at age 80. We appreciate his contribution to society.