Curtis et al. v. Illumination Arts

Court: United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

Document status: Order Granting Default Judgment

Key issue or relevant point:  Whether or not Plaintiffs’ motion for default judgment should be granted, and if granted, what should be: (a) the amount of statutory damages for willful infringement, and (b) the amount of attorney’s fees and expenses.

Ruling of Finding:  Under the facts of the case the Motion for Default Judgment was granted.  The court believed a “Substantial” award of statutory damages was more appropriate than a maximum award, largely based on the preexisting relationship between the parties.  Here, although the Defendants’ conduct prior to and during litigation was tantamount to “egregious”, the previous long-term and mutually beneficial contractual and licensing relationship between the parties hindered the Courts willingness to award $150,000 in max damages.  The Court also awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses in favor of the Plaintiff.

Gorski v. Gymboree

Court: United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division (2014).

Document status: Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant’s Pre-Trial Motion to Dismiss

Issue or relevant point: 1. Can the court make a finding of non-infringement while considering a motion to dismiss?  2.  Does Plaintiff’s complaint sufficiently plead ‘substantial similarity’ between protectable elements and the alleged copying?

Ruling or Findings: Yes – courts have authority to find non-infringement when considering a pre-trial motion to dismiss.  In this case, the copyright claim was dismissed because the Plaintiff had not plead sufficient facts to show infringement; however, the court granted the Plaintiff the option to file an amended complaint.