Irwin IP Defeats Summary Judgment Motion, Copyright Infringement Claims to Proceed to Trial

On September 30, 2020, Honorable Judge Andrea R. Wood denied a motion for summary judgment brought by the Defendants in an on-going copyright infringement dispute Irwin IP filed on behalf of its client, Massarelli’s Lawn Ornaments, Inc. (“MLO”), a long-standing leading manufacturer of concrete garden statuary.

MLO’s lawsuit against Continental Studios, Inc. and its owner (“Continental”) asserts infringement of the copyright in three separate copyrighted works—a turtle statuette, a basket statuette, and a lion statue.  Continental moved for summary judgment that it did not supply the turtle, that the first-sale doctrine precluded a claim of infringement as to the basket, and that the lion was independently created.  MLO argued the facts established the exact opposite—Continental did supply the infringing turtle, the basket being distributed by Continental did not originate from MLO so the first-sale doctrine did not apply, and using MLO’s lion as a starting point and adding clay to alter it is not independent creation.  The Court denied Continental’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety.

MLO has also asserted claims based on Continental’s removal and alteration of copyright management information during the creation of the infringing turtle and lion.  MLO is eager for a jury to hear this case and will seek the maximum statutory damages, a permanent injunction, and attorneys’ fees.

Adam Reis was primarily responsible for drafting the summary judgment briefing.