Case on Iranian intellectual
property in US
By Ali Kamarei, Esq.
December 30, 2003
For the past two years I have been working
on a significant case involving
intellectual property, namely that of Iranian origin, and the
Embargo Regulations. The case tested the reach of the embargo
determined whether trade regarding intellectual property originating
in Iran and
transactions concerning such intellectual property were permissible
adversary in this case, NITV of Los Angeles, argued that Iranian
are not entitled to intellectual property protection in the
United States. Furthermore, they argued that US entities could
not pay money to Iranian
entities for such things as motion pictures, music, patentable
ideas and trademarks.
We in turn argued that even under the regulations, such trade and payments
to Iranians in Iran for their works were permissible.
Although we suffered a set back in the Federal District
Court for the Central District of California, the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals unanimously
reversed the District Court decision. In their written opinion, which is attached
for your reference, the Ninth Circuit held that Iranian entities may register
and protect their intellectual property in the US. More significantly, US
entities may also receive assignments to intellectual property, commercialize
them, and pay Iranian entities in Iran both lump sum payments as well as
royalties. The Ninth Circuit Judges consisted of both Democrat and Republican
appointees >>> Read the case
The decision is highly significant in various respects.
First, a Court has defined the terms "commercial," "commerce"
and "importation" in the context
of these trade regulations, something that had never been defined previously.
Second, this case is applicable not just to Iranian
trade regulations, but also other trade regulations, such as the
Cuban and Libyan regulations. Third,
the decision potentially applies to such works as software. Lastly, this case
was a case of first impression, meaning that it is a precedent setting case.
I am grateful to my client, who despite facing a
threat of suit for significant attorney's fees and costs by NITV
if we appealed, decided
to appeal the
case anyway. Moreover, my trust and belief in the judicial system of the United
States was preserved, which despite the defendant's barrage of "weapons
mass destruction" rhetoric and the current media and political
had the courage and wisdom to correctly apply the law to the facts of this
If you have any further interest in this case, I
would be delighted to discuss it with you >>> Read
Ali Kamarei, Esq.
INHOUSE IP Counsel
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