Below is an excerpt of a legal update authored by Intellectual Property + Technology Group co-chair John L. Cordani, Jr. and Business Litigation Group lawyer, Janet J. Kljyan.

Intellectual property practitioners were anticipating the Supreme Court’s decision in Warner Chappell Music v. Nealy, which raised important questions regarding the statute of limitations and availability of damages for stale copyright infringement claims. We previously wrote about how the Supreme Court’s decision could impact copyright “trolls:” entrepreneurial plaintiffs who assert copyright infringement claims based on old, allegedly infringing uses of photographs or images on the internet to extract quick settlements from unsuspecting businesses. The Court’s decision, issued earlier this month, may embolden trolls in the short term, especially in the Second Circuit. However, the hope remains that the Supreme Court will rein in the statute of limitations to discourage trolls in a future case.

Warner Chappell Music v. Nealy raised two potential issues: (1) whether the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations begins to run from the plaintiff’s “discovery” of the infringement (called the “discovery” rule), and (2) whether the Copyright Act limits recoverable damages to those incurred within the three years preceding the filing of a lawsuit. Read more.