Monday, September 09, 2013

Copyright Law - Second Circuit - Copyrightability of a Light Fixture Revisited?

Ochre LLC v. Rockwell Architecture, Planning and Design, P.C., 2013 WL 3606123 (2d Cir. 2013)
Ochre's Arctic Pear "Round 45" Chandelier
In any suit for copyright infringement, a plaintiff must establish its ownership of a valid copyright and that the defendant copied the copyrighted work.  Copyright protection does not subsist in useful articles.  Nor can aesthetic or artistic features in works of applied art or industrial design be copyrighted if the features cannot be identified separately from the useful article.  But where a useful article incorporates a design that is “physically or conceptually separable” from an underlying useful product, the object is eligible for copyright protection.  The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that facts were not pleaded that made physical or conceptual separability plausible.  The Second Circuit noted that after two opportunities to amend the complaint, the plaintiff could not articulate why the elements of the design to which it pointed do not “reflect a merger of aesthetic and functional considerations.”

Ron Coleman of the Likelihood of Confusion blog represented the plaintiff and has posted the pleadings online.

To read the Summary Order by Judges Pooler, Lohier, Jr., and Carney, click here.
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2012-2013) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

No comments: