Phosita IP Blog

Ex Parte Appeals PTAB Decisions Time Decreases

While most art can be protected by copyright laws, if a “new” piece of art is too similar to a prior work, then it cannot be protected. The work of art, at the very least, must be “a new and original expression of some previous work.” Davidson v. United States, No. 13-942C, 2018 Fed. Cl. WL 3213604, at *10 (Fed. Cl. Jun. 29, 2018). A thin line lies between creating a new embodiment of artistic expression of the Statue of Liberty, and a mere replica. However, this begs the question of where exactly defines the line that separates a mere replica and a new interpretation of art?

Fortunately for us, that fine line may have gotten just a bit clearer after the
United States Court of Federal Claims issued a $3.5 million judgment in favor of an artist who created his own interpretation of the Statue of Liberty. Davidson, 2018 Fed. Cl. at *1. Mistaking it for the iconic Statue of Liberty, the United States Postal Service (USPS) created a stamp from an image of the face of Robert Davidson’s statue, which stands outside of the New York – New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Id.

The question for the court was whether Davidson’s statue constituted a new artistic expression of the Statue of Liberty, so as to be protected by copyright law, or whether it is merely a replica. Id. The answer to that question would determine whether Davidson was eligible for copyright damages resulting from the USPS’s unauthorized use of Davidson’s art on the stamp. For Davidson to receive damages, his statue had to be considered an artistic interpretation of the Statue of Liberty, and not just a replica. Id. at *10; however, if Davidson’s statue was only a replica of the Statue of Liberty, and therefore not protectable by copyright law, then the USPS could not infringe. Id.

Davidson v. United States:



DC On Film Row

About DC on Film Row

DC on Film Row is a free event space open to everyone in our community.

We like to say that the space is a “home for creatives and innovators, home builders and the homeless, celebrators and the celebrated” so people understand that we are inclusive and want everyone from throughout our community using our space.

Our goal is to celebrate the incredible diversity of creativity, innovation, and passion within Oklahoma City and to provide a venue—free of charge—to those groups and individuals working to bind us all together and make our home a cooler and better place. No strings attached—no extensive rules to follow. We simply ask that all of our neighbors be honored and that all viewpoints be respected. Our criteria for use is simple: If the event, group, or meeting is something which strengthens our community and brings us all together, the space is available for use.

The space has hosted everything from charitable fundraisers to an underground nightclub party to celebrate Canterbury Choral Society’s 45th anniversary season. We host dinners for the OKC homeless population most Monday evenings where upwards of 250 people are served—we provide the space and soft drinks and a local church provides the food. We’ve hosted university planning retreats and monthly local rock concerts.

Every Wednesday, we open up the courtyard for lunch, invite a local food truck to set up outside our gates, and welcome our downtown neighbors into the space for a bit of socialization.

Our never-ending soda fountain seems to be the biggest hit with some of our neighbors while others spend time playing pool or simply chatting about what is happening on the weekend.

For October we turn the space into a haunted house and invite the neighborhood children to come out and trick-or-treat.

Got an idea for how to use the space? Just ask us – we’re almost certain to say yes!

The Space for Ideas.

Protecting all things creative

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