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Unclaimed Property Recovery Service, Inc., v. Kaplan

By Barry Werbin

The Second Circuit issued a decision of first impression filed on August 20th in Unclaimed Property Recovery Service, Inc., v. Kaplan, holding that "that where the holder of a copyright in a litigation document has authorized a party to the litigation to use the document in the litigation, this constitutes an irrevocable authorization to all parties to the litigation (and to their attorneys, as well as the court) to use the documents thereafter in the litigation throughout its duration."

Here, the plaintiff failed to state a claim for copyright infringement tied to the defendant's use of a complaint written by co-plaintiff Gelb and copyrighted by plaintiff Unclaimed Property Recovery Service, where the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant's amendment of the pleadings infringed on their copyrights.

The Court held:

"This case presents an issue of first impression: whether the holder of a copyright in a litigation document who has authorized a party to a litigation to use the document in the litigation may withdraw the authorization after the document has already been introduced into the litigation and then claim infringement when subsequent use is made of the document in the litigation. We hold that such an authorization necessarily conveys, not only to the authorized party but to all present and future attorneys and to the court, an irrevocable authorization to use the document in the litigation thereafter."

Click here for a copy of the decision: OpenAppellateOpinion aspx.pdf

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 25, 2013 2:50 PM.

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