A Finding of UnIP May Cost More Than a Plaintiff Thinks

On February 13, 2013, in Copyrights, by Brian A. Hall

UnIP (UnIntellectual Property): Copyright for Shape of Water Container

The United States District Court for the Central District of California has reminded us all that a plaintiff filing an intellectual property lawsuit subjects the IP upon which the suit is based to invalidation.  Moreover, within the discretion of the court, attorneys fees and costs may be awarded to the prevailing defendant. This Court granted Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment and, in doing so, found that “there is no copyright protection for the shape of [plaintiff’s] water container.”  Without a valid copyright, the Plaintiff’s claim for copyright infringement failed.  The Court did not end there, however, and instead awarded attorney’s fees and costs in excess of $113,000.

This is not a warning or meant to scare plaintiff’s who believe they possess valid, enforceable intellectual property.  It merely is a reality check of what is at stake.

Inhale, Inc. v. Starbuzz Tobacco, Inc., 2013 WL 361109 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 30, 2013).


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