Crown Awards, Inc. V. Discount Trophy & Co., Inc. Essay

972 WordsOct 10, 20124 Pages
Crown Awards, Inc. v. Discount Trophy & Co., Inc. U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 8540 (2009) Material Facts of the Case: Crown Awards is a retailer of awards and trophies sold through mail order catalogs and via the Internet. Crown designed and sold a diamond-shaped spinning trophy for which it owned two copyright registrations. Discount Trophy is one of Crown’s competitors, and it sold a trophy that was substantially similar to Crown’s Spin Trophy. Crown requested that Discount discontinue the sale of the alleged copy, and when Discount refused, Crown filed suit in the Southern District of New York. Legal and Ethical Issues of the Case: In order to prevail on a claim of copyright infringement, a…show more content…
“We have held that where the works in question are 'so strikingly similar as to preclude the possibility of independent creation, copying may be proved without a showing of access.'" In some cases, the similarities between the plaintiff's and defendant's work are so extensive and striking as, without more, both to justify an inference of copying and to prove improper appropriation. If a plaintiff demonstrates actual copying through proof of a reasonable possibility of access and similarities probative of copying, however, it can prevail on its infringement claim by demonstrating that defendant's work is "substantially similar to that which is original in the plaintiff's expression." With "inexact copies," this assessment proceeds by a comparison of the "total concept and feel of the contested works" as "instructed by common sense.” The court must "analyze the two works closely to figure out in what respects, if any, they are similar, and then determine whether these similarities are due to protected aesthetic expressions original to the allegedly infringed work, or whether the similarity is to something in the original that is free for the taking." Rules and Rationale Utilized by the Court to Resolve the Dispute: The district court found that Crown owned a valid copyright in its diamond-shaped spinning trophy and that Discount had access to Crown's design through its receipt of Crown's 2006 catalog and its monitoring of Crown's products. The district court

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