Procedural Posture

Business

Defendant mapmaker sought summary judgment in an action brought by plaintiff mapmaker for copyright infringement, unfair competition under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, unfair competition under California common law, and negligence.

Overview

In 1991, plaintiff mapmaker became aware that defendant mapmaker was displaying a map she believed infringed upon her copyrighted map. Plaintiff informed defendant of her concerns but did not specify which map was implicated. In 1995, plaintiff brought suit alleging copyright infringement, unfair competition, and negligence. The court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The court found that because plaintiff’s state law claims did not involve extra elements beyond copyright infringement, they were preempted by the Copyright Act. All claims concerning defendant’s alleged violations of plaintiff’s copyright which occurred more than three years prior to the filing of suit were barred by the three year statute of limitations. The court found that laches applied to plaintiff’s claims because plaintiff waited four years to inform defendant of the specific infringement claimed and defendant was prejudiced by the delay. Additionally, the court found plaintiff’s infringement claim barred by equitable estoppel. Lastly, the court held that none of the elements of the copyrightable material of plaintiff’s map appeared on defendant’s map.

Outcome

The court granted litigation attorney summary judgment to defendant mapmaker on plaintiff mapmaker’s complaint of copyright infringement, unfair competition, and negligence. Plaintiff’s state law claims were preempted by the Copyright Act and her copyright infringement claims were barred by the statute of limitations, laches, or equitable estoppel or were without merit.

Procedural Posture

Appellant college challenged orders by the Superior Court of San Diego County (California), which denied its petition to compel arbitration of actions filed against it by respondents students.

Overview

Respondents students filed complaints against appellant college for intentional and negligent misrepresentation and unfair business practices, in violation of Cal.  Bus. & Prof.  § 17200. Appellant filed petitions to compel arbitration and stay legal actions by respondent pursuant to Cal.  Code of Civ. Proc.  § 1281.2. The trial court denied the petitions. The court reversed orders of the trial court and remanded the complaints to the trial court to order arbitration. The court held that Cal.  Code of Civ. Proc.  § 1281.2, generally did not preclude arbitration because of fraud in the inducement; the Maxine Waters School Reform and Student Protection Act of 1989, Cal. Educ. Code § 94319.9(f), did not preclude arbitration because the statute invalidated only procedures required to be invoked before bringing an action, not alternatives to bringing an action; and respondents did not show the arbitration provision was unenforceable part of the adhesion contract.

Outcome

The orders denying appellant college’s petition to compel arbitration were reversed because the arbitration provision of the adhesion contracts between appellant and respondents students were enforceable.