Austin Bar Association
712 W. 16th Street
Austin, TX 78701
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Monday, October 24, 2016 | 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Civil Litigation Law Section CLE

Topic: What General Litigators Need to Know about Copyright Preemption
Speaker: David Shank, Scott, Douglass & McConnico L.L.P.

As a general matter, one cannot copyright an idea or process; rather, copyright protects only how that idea is expressed. A general litigator might reasonably assume, then, that a case involving unauthorized use or disclosure of an idea or process (such as a trade secret) has nothing to do with copyright. But that assumption would be wrong. Under the doctrine of complete preemption, an otherwise non-removable case that deals only with non-copyrightable subject matter can be removed to federal court under the Copyright Act. This can include cases involving trade secrets and other “soft” intellectual property that general litigators encounter regularly. In this CLE, David Shank will discuss the background of complete preemption under the Copyright Act and the recent Fifth Circuit cases applying that doctrine, including its most recent opinion in GlobeRanger v. Software AG, in which David represented the plaintiff GlobeRanger. David will also discuss which state-law claims will make a case removable under the doctrine, and which ones will not. Finally, David will discuss how plaintiffs can navigate the resulting strategic minefield to keep their cases in state court, and how defendants can exploit it to get their opponents’ cases in federal court.

For questions or to pay by check, please contact Jan Fulton at   Deadline to RSVP is Oct. 21, 2016 by noon.


Scott Douglass & McConnico
303 Colorado Street, Suite 2400
Austin, TX 78701 United States
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$15.00 for section members
$20.00 for non members

Lunch and Parking are included in the cost.


1 hour partic. credit
0 hours ethics

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