• November 16, 2012

Schwegman Lundberg Woessner (“SLW”) is a highly respected Twin Cities intellectual property law firm, which, ironically, is being sued for allegedly infringing on the intellectual property rights of the American Institute of Physics and published John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

An excellent write-up of the case and a companion case can be found here.

Minnesota Litigator has not dug into the details underlying the claims, but it would appear that SLW is being given a hard time for submitting articles to the U.S. Patent Office as “prior art” in the context of patent-related submissions and this would seem to constitute “fair use” under the copyright law.

To the extent that the plaintiffs’ beef is not the submissions to the Patent Office but SLW making, say, three copies for internal reading within their office, this would seem to me to be fair use, as well.  It would also seem economically impossible to charge (or pay for) such use (let alone catching businesses (all businesses?) guilty of such practices).

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