Lead It Corporation v. Tallapalli

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright
  • Date Filed: 01-30-2013
  • Case #: 12-cv-3099
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Myerscough
  • Full Text Opinion

The Copyright Act requires the copyright holder to register their works before suing for copyright infringement, however statutory damages and attorney's fees will be barred if the infringement of commenced after first publication of the work and before the effective date of its registration.

Lead It Corporation (“Lead It”) brought a copyright infringement suit against Rebecca Tallapalli and Elite It Solutions (“Elite”). A Lead It employee created some text that was published under the career tab of Lead It’s website. The text had the copyright symbol affixed to it as a copyright notice. Lead It alleged that Elite reproduced the text verbatim on the career portion of Elite’s website. After Lead It discovered the infringement, they submitted an application to the Copyright Office to register their text, then filed this complaint against Elite. Copyright Office issued Lead It a certificate after they commenced their suit, listing the date of registration as the date they submitted their application. Elite motioned for dismissal, arguing that Lead It had not satisfied the registration requirements before commencing the suit. Elite also asserted that the Copyright Act barred Lead It from attaining statutory damages and attorney’s fees. The court held that since Lead It received a certificate of registration dated the day they submitted their application to the Copyright Office, Lead It satisfied the “registration” requirement for filing a suit. The Court also held that the Act precluded awards of statutory damages or attorney’s fees in this case, because the infringement of copyright commenced after first publication of the text and before the effective date of its registration. Elite’s motion to dismiss the claim was DENIED, but Elite’s Motion to Strike for statutory damages and attorney’s fees was GRANTED.

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