In re Bashas’ Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright, Discovery
  • Date Filed: 05-08-2013
  • Case #: CV 12-01497-PHX-FJM, BK 09-16050-JMM
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court, D. Arizona
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65630
  • Westlaw Citation: 2013 WL 1932820
  • Full Text Opinion

To prove copyright infringement, claims must rise above the level of speculation.

Opinion (Martone): Robert Kubicek Architects & Associates, Inc, (“Kubicek”) is an architectural firm that performed work for Bashas’ Inc. (“Bashas’”). Kubicek asserted claims against Bashas’ for direct and willful infringement of copyrights. Copyright infringement applies to “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” 17 U.S.C. § 102(a), including technical drawings and architectural works. To establish copyright infringement, a claimant must show ownership of valid copyright, and copying of protected elements of the copyrighted work. Kubicek argued that Bashas’ had wrongfully copied, used, and retained copyrighted materials, but failed to identify those materials and failed to provide any details regarding how or when the materials were copied or used. While Kubicek argued that it was unable to plead more specific facts because it had inadequate opportunity to conduct discovery, the Court noted the claims were originally filed almost two years ago, and ample opportunity was given to frame its complaint to satisfy minimal pleading standards. Because Kubicek’s claims did not rise above the level of speculation, the court GRANTED Bashas’ motion to dismiss.

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