Warner Music Group Corp. was sued by George Gershwin's heirs over claims they're owed $4.5 million in royalties and interest from works of the late composer of "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Porgy and Bess."
The claims relate to the rental of Gershwin's works outside the U.S. and Canada, worldwide licensing of ballets, worldwide licensing of concert grand rights and Warner Music's failure to register copyrights in a timely manner, according to the complaint filed Jan. 11 in New York state court in Manhattan.
The heirs, including a nephew and niece of George and Ira Gershwin, said in the complaint that in 2007 they reviewed Warner Music's books and records, which they said revealed "significant non-payments and/or underpayments of royalties and other amounts" as well as other contractual breaches.
The heirs are also conducting two other examinations related to other "worldwide and traditional income issues" and may bring additional claims, they said in the complaint.
James Steven, a spokesman for Warner Music, declined to comment Jan. 14 on the lawsuit.
George Gershwin died in 1937. Besides "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Porgy and Bess," he is known for his "An American in Paris" symphonic work, and at least 15 musical comedies performed on Broadway.
The case is Gershwin v. WB Music Corp., 650117/2013, New York State Supreme Court, County of New York (Manhattan).
Samsung leads new carbon substance patent applications
Samsung Electronics Co. is the leading corporate applier for patents on a new carbon substance for which two scientists at the University of Manchester won the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics, the BBC reported.
The substance, known as "grapheme," is a single layer of carbon atoms and, as the thinnest material ever created, has potential uses in a wide range of technologies, according to the BBC.
CambridgeIP, which has been tracking grapheme-related patent applications, reported that of the 7,351 patents and applications filed by the end of 2012, International Business Machines is second to Samsung in seeking patents on the technology, according to the BBC.