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Famous Intellectual Property Lawsuits & The Importance of Copyright Laws

Thu 12th Jun, 2014 | Blog by

Intellectual Property & Copyright Infringement

Intellectual property refers to anything a person may create using their mind or artistic ability. These properties have exclusive rights to assets like music, discoveries, inventions, and literary works. Intellectual property disputes are the exact reason for things like copyrights and trademarks.

What would the world be like without them? Look at a few famous intellectual property disputes and consider the butterfly effect for a moment. What would happen if the disputes went the other way, or if we did not have attorneys to help settle disputes?


Perhaps, the most common case involves the RIAA suing Napster in 1999. Napster was a file-sharing website in which users could download their favorite music over an internet connection. People shared thousands of songs and videos at no charge instead of heading to retail stores to purchase compact discs and tapes. The problem was, Napster was hosting songs they did not own on their servers, so the RIAA won, ending the free reign of Napster. Currently, the Napster company is in business, but as a fee-based download system. The money covers licensing fees for the music it offers now.

Did this change the way we purchase and obtain media for the better? It is still too early to say. Music piracy is still common with things like torrents and iso finders. This lawsuit connected companies to what the masses wanted: music. This birthed the age of internet radio, giving us things like Pandora and Spotify for a free way to enjoy the music we love.

The Hangover Sequel

In the second film, the gang heads out for another night of drinking and general debauchery- this time in Bangkok. Stu Price, one of the friends, wakes up to a huge life-altering event once again. In the first movie, he woke up to find that he pulled his own tooth to prove his dental skills, so they decided to stick with the theme. Stu wakes up with a tribal tattoo around his eye, that is almost a mirror image of Mike Tyson’s ink. The tattoo is a comical reference to the first movie, in which the gang steals a tiger from Mike Tyson. His tattoo artist and Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. came to an undisclosed agreement for use of the property.

In either case, we see the importance of intellectual property and how it affects the things we use and see every day. It is important to research the creator of the content you plan to use, and ensure that you have their permission first. This will save a world of hurt for all parties involved.


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