Led Zeppelin sued over alleged stealing of “Stairway to Heaven”

Led Zeppelin

In light of the recently revived lawsuit over 1980 DeNiro movie, “Raging Bull,” this should be an interesting discussion of laches in copyright suits. In the suit, a trust for the late Spirit band guitarist, Randy California, alleges that back in 1969 the rock legends ripped-off the infamous rift while touring together across the country. California is seeking an injunction to stop a remastered release of the song, monetary reparations, and a writing credit. At issue will be the similarities of the songs, as well as laches and statute of limitation questions.

Might Stairway to Heaven sound like a copy of Taurus, to an ordinary lay listener?



For a detailed history on the suit, see this great article by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Related Articles:

Time’s, “Led Zeppelin is Getting Sued Over ‘Stairway to Heaven.'”

Rolling Stone’s, “Led Zellepin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Targeted for Plagiarism.

NY Times, “Justices Reinstate Copyright Lawsuit over ‘Raging Bull.’


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Amid Collusion, Judge Sets Rate in Pandora/ASCAP Dispute

Great article from The Dotted Line Reporter on a recent decision regarding Pandora’s ASCAP royalty rates. Thanks Nick Huskins!

Chinese Trademark Law Reform

In October, China’s lax IP regime allowed young Chinese entrepreneurs to register marks that should belong to the hit show, Downton Abbey. These opportunists have begun selling wine, spirits, perfume, jewelry and other merchandise under the famous name, despite the show’s widespread success and reach in the Chinese marketplace. China’s first-to-file system has left the creators of the show with little to no recourse in the foreign markets, but hopefully not for long.

New law has been passed in China that will allow senior users of a well-known and distinctive visual trademark (like the owners of the Downton Abbey marks), to oppose and cancel any pending applications for up to five years post-registration by a junior user. Previously, only domestic registrants were able to do so, but that is set to change as of May this year.

Any potential actions taken by Downton Abbey can have far reaching effects on similar marks in visual industries, including the fashion industry, which the Downton Abbey marks have already entered in the US and in China.

Google Files for a New Patent…

…on a watch, from which you can place a food order.

See IPWatchDog’s article, and Google’s newest patent application.

Call me old fashioned, but I think I prefer my cell phone.

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GAP’s new storefront design – Protectable Trade Dress?

See Racked NY’s recent publication about GAP’s new concept store in NYC, introducing a layout for a more authentic shopping experience. Looks quite unique and effective. Maybe GAP should consider registering to protect this idea?

Do you think GAP’s “lived-in” display techniques could qualify for trade dress protection?

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