Managing Intellectual Property
"Protect Your Data with the Hot News Doctrine"
In March, a district court applied the 92-year old so-called hot news theory of misappropriation to stop a company from collating and redistributing investment firms' equity research recommendations. In the internet age, when getting news out – and getting it out quickly – can be worth thousands of dollars, the doctrine could be a valuable weapon in the litigation arsenal of content providers who have been unable to prevent the aggregation of information on rival websites using traditional IP remedies. This article outlines the hot news doctrine, explains when it may be applied by the courts, and considers whether the March 2010 Fly case might oblige content providers actively to enforce their hot news rights.