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Precedent set
Case on Iranian intellectual property in US

By Ali Kamarei, Esq.
December 30, 2003
The Iranian

Dear friends,

For the past two years I have been working on a significant case involving intellectual property, namely that of Iranian origin, and the Iranian Trade Embargo Regulations. The case tested the reach of the embargo regulations and determined whether trade regarding intellectual property originating in Iran and transactions concerning such intellectual property were permissible

Our adversary in this case, NITV of Los Angeles, argued that Iranian entities 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 of mass destruction" rhetoric and the current media and political atmosphere, still had the courage and wisdom to correctly apply the law to the facts of this case.

If you have any further interest in this case, I would be delighted to discuss it with you >>> Read the case

Sincerely yours,
Ali Kamarei, Esq.
INHOUSE IP Counsel

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