By John C. Gatz
John C. Gatz is a member of the firm Nixon Peabody LLP in Chicago. Column contributors include the following writers. Copyrights: Zachary J. Smolinski, Panduit Corporation; Michael N. Spink, Brinks, Hofer, Gilson & Lione; Mark R. Anderson, Ulmer & Berne LLP. Trademarks: Janet M. Garetto and Elizabeth W. Baio, Nixon Peabody LLP; Amy L. Sierocki. Patents: Cynthia K. Barnett, Johnson & Johnson; Timothy M. Kowalski, Motorola Mobility, Inc.; R. Trevor Carter and Daniel M. Lechleiter, Faegre Baker Daniels; Robert W. (Bill) Mason, Kinetic Concepts, Inc.
Erickson v. Blake, ___F.3d___, 102 U.S.P.Q.2d 1466, (D. Or. 2012). Erickson is a composer who created an orchestral work entitled the “Pi Symphony,” inspired by the number pi. Erickson assigned a musical note to each digit between zero and nine, and then arranged the work based on the order of the digits of pi. Erickson registered a copyright in this work in 1992. In 2011, Blake posted a video on YouTube called “What Pi Sounds Like.” Blake also had assigned a note to each digit, and then arranged a work based on the digits of pi. Erickson sued Blake for copyright infringement, and Blake filed a motion to dismiss.