Plaintiff manufacturer sued defendant manufacturer for infringement of a copyright for two miniature working motorcycles. Defendant filed a counterclaim alleging that plaintiff breached the parties’ partnership agreement to design and manufacture these motorcycles. Defendant moved for partial summary judgment on the copyrightability of the motorcycles. Plaintiff moved for judgment on the pleadings on the counterclaim and for a restraining order.
Defendant argued that the motorcycles were not copyrightable because they were useful articles and they were copies, lacking originality. Plaintiff countered that the motorcycles were copyrightable as toys. The court denied the motion for partial summary judgment. The motorcycles were useful articles and thus, not eligible for copyright protection. However, there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether various design elements of the motorcycles could be identified separately and were capable of existing independently as works of art. In particular, defendant argued that the component parts of the motorcycle were useful articles, and thus could not be copyrighted as independent works of art. Plaintiff countered that the various motorcycle elements provided the requisite non-functional, separately-identifiable, independent, protectable features. These issues, as well as the question of originality, had to be resolved by a trier of fact. The court also denied the motion for judgment on the pleadings. There were material factual issues as to whether the partnership was formed for illegal purposes. The court summarily denied the motion for a restraining order. Appellant was represented by a business lawyer.
The court denied defendant’s motion for partial summary judgement and plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. The court also denied plaintiff’s motion for a restraining order.
Plaintiff moved for default judgment against defendants in an action asserting claims under 47 U.S.C.S. §§ 553, 605, 17 U.S.C.S. § 501, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17040, 17200, and common law tort theories of conversion and breach of implied contract.
Plaintiff sued defendants for broadcasting championship boxing matches without authorization. Defendants filed no answer or pleading and made no appearance in the case. The allegations in plaintiff’s complaint were deemed admitted; therefore, plaintiff had demonstrated defendants’ liability under 47 U.S.C.S. §§ 553, 605, and for conversion. Plaintiff was entitled to statutory damages, but not enhanced damages; the evidence did not establish that defendants willfully misappropriated the signal for purposes of financial gain. Defendants had no cover charge and there was no indication defendants increased the price of drinks or food during the fights. Nor was there evidence they advertised that their establishment would be showing the bouts. Damages were awarded based upon estimated crowd size. Plaintiff’s claim for damages for patrons who left paying establishments to watch the bouts at pirating establishments was entirely speculative. Attorney fees were awarded at $ 150.00 per hour, not $ 325.00 per hour.
Motion for default granted. Evidence of damages was presented by affidavit. Plaintiff was entitled to statutory but not enhanced damages; evidence failed to establish willful misappropriation of the signal for purposes of financial gain. Attorney fees were awarded at the court’s estimate of prevailing rate in the community.