Frank Gaylord v. United States

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright, Damages
  • Date Filed: 02-04-2015
  • Case #: No. 2014-5020
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1700
  • Westlaw Citation: 2015 WL 449192
  • Full Text Opinion

Where a court is determining damages in a copyright case they may use a tool from patent law without applying the tool in its entirety.

Opinion (Taranto): Frank Gaylord (Gaylord) appeals the Federal Claims Court award of damages from the United States Postal Service (USPS) for infringing on his copyright when it issued a postage stamp depicting the soldier sculptures Gaylord produced as part of the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the Court of Federal claims reasonably found that the per-unit royalty rather than a lump-sum payment would have been the likely outcome of a negotiation, the 10% per-unit award was not clearly erroneous, and the Court did not clearly err by not altering the $5.4 million revenue base and not applying the multi-component analysis. The Appeals Court’s analysis emphasized that a court issuing a ruling in a copyright case may use patent law’s use of a tool without applying every aspect of that tool and may use its discretion in these circumstances to make a case-by-case determination as to the award of reasonable damages. The judgment of the Court of Federal Claims was AFFIRMED.

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