Defining 'Look And Feel' Infringement Of Web Sites

Law360, New York (December 2, 2008, 12:00 AM EST) -- Courts, particularly in the Ninth Circuit, have generally limited infringement claims based on the overall “look and feel” of computer software.

For instance, in one well-known case, the Ninth Circuit applied a “virtual identity” standard to Apple Computer’s claim that Microsoft Windows infringed its copyright in the overall look and feel of its user interface (typically called the “GUI” or graphical user interface), instead of copyright law’s more typical “substantial similarity” standard.

More recently, however, courts considering whether one Web site infringed the copyright in another...
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