Tuesday, July 14, 2009

AP Settles IP Suit with AHN Media at the Wire

The Associated Press Building in New York City...Image via Wikipedia

Associated Press and AHN Media have issued a joint press release announcing the resolution of AP's intellectual property lawsuit against All Headline News filed January 14, 2008, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Under the terms of the settlement, AHN fessed up to numerous instances of improper use of AP's news content and expression without the wire service's consent and agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to AP. As part of the accord, AHN also acknowledged that AP's claim of tortious misappropriation of "hot news"[a quasi-property right to breaking news] had been recognized in other jurisdictions as a viable cause of action and deemed applicable to the present action by U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel.

AP, a news agency that employs more than 3,000 reporters worldwide who generate content for newspaper, radio, tv, and Internet portal subscribers, originally sued AHN for, among other claims, trademark infringement, unfair competition under the Lanham Act, breach of contract, and misappropriation of "hot news." Before the parties turned to private mediation leading up to the settlement and dismissal of the suit, the Court tossed the trademark infringment and unfair competition counts.

AP had accused AHN of rewriting AP stories and putting its name on them and redistributing the content without the AP name and copyright management information. The digital arena has become a battleground for Associated Press, which has aggressively pursued news aggregators and bloggers to preserve its intellectual property rights.
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