• Ninth Circuit Rejects Tax Withholding As Litmus Test for Copyright “For Hire” Status
  • April 30, 2010 | Authors: Monty Agarwal; Ira D. Moskatel; Ryan M. Nishimoto; John C. Ulin
  • Law Firms: Arnold & Porter LLP - San Francisco Office ; Arnold & Porter LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • In JustMed, Inc. v. Byce, announced on April 5, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that an individual who did not receive a regular salary, chose his own hours and place of work, did not receive employee benefits, and was not subjected to tax withholding was nonetheless an “employee” who created a “work for hire” under the US Copyright Law. The ruling, which does not necessarily predict the law in the other circuits, can mitigate uncertainty in licensing and acquisition transactions with emerging technology companies. It is particularly relevant to computer software ventures that may have started up with less than comprehensive intellectual property protocols. However, it should not be a prescription for less rigorous intellectual property discipline in start-up companies. www.arnoldporter.com