Articles

SUPREME COURT REJECTS PETITION TO UNDO CALL & JENSEN COPYRIGHT VICTORY AT NINTH CIRCUIT

The decision preserves Call & Jensen’s critical victory at the Ninth Circuit curtailing the ability of copyright plaintiffs to recover windfalls from defendants in the same supply chain. The Ninth Circuit previously vacated a lower court’s judgment awarding multiple statutory damages awards to a plaintiff copyright owner for the infringement of its copyrighted floral pattern. The lower court awarded a separate award to the plaintiff for each defendant in the supply chain that sold the infringing fabric—all of which came from a single supplier defendant. Aaron Renfro and Sam Brooks of Call & Jensen represented the defendants and argued that under Section 504(c)(3) of the Copyright Act, the plaintiff was only entitled to a single award of statutory damages because each of the defendants in the supply chain was jointly and severally liable with the supplier. The Ninth Circuit agreed and vacated the lower court judgment, after which the plaintiff petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit ruling. The Supreme Court rejected the petition, thereby exhausting the plaintiff’s appellate options.