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

Court Remands Removed Action as Not Involving a Substantial Federal Question

In a July 7, 2015 ruling, Judge John G. Koeltl ruled that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over a removed action in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendant submitted false affidavits in an earlier copyright infringement action about a third party’s (named Sorenson) ownership of the copyrights at issue. The plaintiff prevailed in the earlier action, but claimed that the defendant’s false declarations prolonged it. Judge Koeltl found that although the present action raised a federal question (authorship in the copyright context), it was not a “substantial” question. The Court wrote:
In this case, [the plaintiff] agrees with this Court’s conclusion that Sorenson did not have a valid copyright. His argument is that this Court would have reached that decision earlier on a motion for summary judgment, or that Sorenson would not have brought the prior lawsuit, had it not been for [the defendant’s] allegedly fraudulent affidavits. That is not a substantial copyright question because it will not change the result of the prior litigation with respect to the invalidity of Sorenson’s copyright, and indeed [the plaintiff] does not argue that it should change the result.
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