Attorneys Fees for Prevailing Defendant in Copyright Case

The prevailing defendant in this copyright case sought an award of fees under 17 U.S.C. § 505.  Judge Gilstrap’s opinion sorted through the claims and the parties’ alleged conduct in the case before finally determining the appropriateness of an award of fees, thus giving parties some guidance on when an award of fees in a copyright case is appropriate.

Motion for Sanctions Granted

The court found that a website owned by the defendant contained multiple violations of the court’s active order in this trademark case.  It rejected the defendant’s assertion that the website was a “test” website left up accidentally excused its presence.  The sanction was that the defendant would bear the full cost of an upcoming mediation, as well as reasonable attorneys fees associated with the filing of the motion and the discovery of the violation.

Motion To Dismiss Granted In Part; Motion To Transfer Denied

Senior Judge Nowlin found that the plaintiff had properly alleged copyright validity, but that copyright management information (“CMI”) claims require an additional element be pleaded, that of an underlying act of infringement.  The court denied the motion to transfer, finding that venue was more convenient for the Austin–headquartered plaintiff in the Austin Division and that all of the cited witnesses are party witnesses, who are considered less key to the decision, writing that “[a] court should tightly focus on the convenience of key nonparty witnesses when making a transfer decision.”