A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Dismisses Copyright Complaint as Inadequately Plead Because It Does Not Identify All Infringed Works

In a March 31, 2014 ruling, Judge Thomas P. Griesa dismissed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) Palmer Kane LLC’s copyright infringement claims against Scholastic Corporation over the use of the plaintiff’s photographs. The Court wrote that the plaintiff failed to adequately allege two of the four necessary elements for a copyright infringement claim. First, the “complaint does not properly specify which photographs are at issue in the case” because although the complaint attaches an exhibit with 146 registered photographs, it further alleges that that is “not an exhaustive list of the photographs infringed by Scholastic.” Judge Griesa ruled these allegations insufficient because “Scholastic cannot know all of the works that Palmer Kane claims it infringed.”

Second, the Court found that “the complaint also fails to properly allege the infringing acts committed by Scholastic.” Specifically, although the complaint alleges that “books published by Scholastic . . . contain unauthorized photographs,” “these acts are not sufficient because Palmer Kane does not specify the timeframe during which Scholastic committed the infringement.”
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