Call Today 800-836-1576
Menu / Navigate

Silicon Valley Legal Blog

Breitbart litigation: Accused of copyright infringement

Many people in California and other areas of the country would likely agree that those with different political ideologies are currently at odds with one another. Many instances of protests and conflict fill the news relatively frequently. In one pending case, the use of a photographer's image of a protest is at the center of the litigation.

The lawsuit involves a photojournalist who has accused Breitbart News Network of using an image he took of a rally at a California university. The image reportedly depicts several Black students standing by a building on campus. One student is holding a sign that says "Black Lives Matter," while another is using a bullhorn.

Nurse threatens litigation following termination

It takes a special temperament and personality to work as a nurse in a nursing home facility. These caregivers are tasked with the physically and emotionally difficult task of caring for those who are no longer to do so themselves. Often, nurses in California are required to be the voice and advocate of their patients, ensuring that they are heard and given an appropriate response. Unfortunately, a nurse in another state may turn to litigation after she was fired for insisting that a patient's assault claims were reported to police.

The incident involves the alleged rape of a nursing home patient. The victim claims that a nursing home aide assaulted her while assisting her to the bathroom. When she reported the claims, officials at the facility where she resided, The Brian Center, were reluctant to contact police. However, the nurse who supervised the aide insisted that police be notified, sparking an investigation that led to criminal charges and a conviction. The man received a 23-year prison sentence.

Plaintiff prevails in termination litigation

Many employees in California work hard at their job, often spending years with the same employer as they work toward retirement. Unfortunately, some older workers have found themselves facing increased scrutiny in an attempt to force them into retirement in order to cut costs. For those workers who are pushed out of their job solely based on their age, litigation may be the best path to justice.

A 52-year-old man in another state has recently won a lawsuit in which he claimed his employer, a municipality in another state, discriminated against him due to his age. The man, who worked as a lifeguard, claims that the municipality changed standards related to supervisors and fitness tests in order to force out older workers. The changes started to occur when officials for the city that was struggling financially reallocated over $50,000 typically spent on lifeguards to firefighters.

Business owners should use training to prevent retaliation suits

Here at the law firm of LiLaw Inc. in Los Altos, attorney J. James Li, J.D., Ph.D., advises employers and employees about illegal employment discrimination and harassment like that based on gender, race, age, disability, religion and other protected employee characteristics. An important component of anti-discrimination law is that it is also unlawful to retaliate against an employee who reports an incident or practice of workplace discrimination or harassment, or who cooperates in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit such as in the capacity of a witness. 

Anti-retaliation training 

Pending lawsuit: LeVar Burton sued over podcast

For over two decades, children in California and across the country were encouraged to read on the television show "Reading Rainbow" by show host LeVar Burton. However, the show was canceled in 2006. Now Burton faces a pending lawsuit after the public broadcaster that owns the show, WNED, accused him of copyright infringement.

The most recent legal conflict between WNED and Burton and his company RRKidz involves a podcast called "LeVar Burton Reads." Burton reportedly claims that his podcast is the "Reading Rainbow" for adults. The catchphrase "But you don't have to take my word for it" used in the original show is also reportedly used in the podcast.

Litigation after accusations of harassment, wrongful termination

There are laws in place that protect employees from inappropriate behavior such as sexual harassment. Additionally, employees should feel free to report such unlawful behavior without fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, a female pastor in California claims the church that employed her fired her after she complained about sexual harassment at the hands of the head pastor. As a result, she has now turned to litigation.

Court records indicate that the woman was hired to serve as a youth minister at the church in 2008. Several years later, she was promoted to a higher position within the church. In 2017, the church reportedly hired a new head pastor, and the woman claims the sexual harassment began shortly afterward.

Litigation leads to verdict against KinderGuides

Many people in California and across the world believe that providing books to young children can have positive benefits. With that thought in mind, a company called KinderGuides created adaptations of several books deemed classics; their goal is to help children appreciate classic literature while still young. While some people question whether young children can fully appreciate the works of Ernest Hemingway, for example, others -- including the estates and publishers of many of the authors -- have pursued litigation against the company.

The lawsuit included the estates of Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Arthur C. Clarke and Jack Kerouac in addition to publishers Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. Their lawsuits described the works as derivatives that were not authorized. The KinderGuides, the lawsuit claimed, used many elements of copyrighted books. They further argue that the defendants in the case could simply use books that are not copyrighted in their endeavors.

Wrongful termination litigation results in $1.26 million award

Employers in California are required to provide workers' compensation insurance benefits for their employees. The benefits provide for medical expenses and lost wages in the event that an employee is injured while on the job. Unfortunately, a man in another state claims that he was wrongfully terminated after he filed a workers' compensation claim. Litigation resulting from the man's claim recently resulted in a $1.26 million award in his favor.

The man was an employer of Merchants Food. He was reportedly injured while working a shift for a friend in July 2014 and missed work for several months. When he returned to work later that year, he claims that he was fired the same day. He argues that he was fired in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim and argues that the company has a history of firing people who file claims and using intimidating tactics to prevent others from filing.

Litigation: Photographer claims copyright infringement

Most photographers and other types of artists in California want their work to receive the recognition that it deserves. While this includes that their work is actually seen, they also want proper compensation, a desire that sometimes results in litigation. One photographer in another state has recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Procter & Gamble for allegedly using her work in unauthorized ways.

The 46-year-old photographer creates photographs used on packaging for a variety of companies who create personal care products, including P&G, which uses her photographs on packaging for Olay. She claims that she seeks licenses for her photographs that protects them for years. Her lawsuit states that she and P&G had an agreement that the company could use certain images in North America for a period of three years.

Grocery store turns to litigation over alleged infringement

Many companies in California and across the country work hard to create a recognizable brand. As part of that brand recognition, they often create a trademark that they hope will be easily connected to the company. In order to protect their brand, some companies find themselves in a position of being forced to turn to litigation in order to protect their trade and service marks from copyright infringement.

Such appears to the be case between two grocery stores, Kroger and Lidl. In a recently filed lawsuit, Kroger claims that Lidl's "Preferred Selection" logo is similar to Kroger's "Private Selection" logo in both design and look. Lidl has only recently begun doing business in this country, opening its first stores in the United States in mid-June.


LiLaw Inc.
5050 El Camino Real
Suite 200
Los Altos, CA 94022

Toll Free: 800-836-1576
Map & Directions

Back to Top