Representative Copyright Cases

Global Business Network, Inc. v. James Pinda
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center

Sunstein represented Global Business Network, Inc., a wholly owned entity of Monitor Company Group of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a domain name and copyright dispute with James Pinda, of Fremont, California. Our aggressive assertion of claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy caused Mr. Pinda’s website to be swiftly removed from the web, and his domain name to be transferred to our client.

Experience, Inc. v. CSO Research, Inc.
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Sunstein defended CSO Research, a developer of software products for university career placement offices, against charges of copyright infringement that threatened to halt sales of CSO’s leading software product. After defeating a preliminary motion, we negotiated a settlement favorable to CSO.

Bowers v. Baystate Techs., Inc.
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Sunstein represented Baystate Technologies in appealing a jury verdict that Baystate breached a “shrinkwrap” license prohibiting reverse engineering of Bowers’ software, and that Baystate’s computer-aided design software infringed Bowers’ copyright. Demonstrating the national impact of this case, thirty-three law professors and eight organizations joined in filing an amicus brief supporting our client’s position that Bowers’ breach of contract claim was preempted by the Copyright Act. Nevertheless, the Federal Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that the shrinkwrap license provision was enforceable. Despite the national attention received by this case, and a supporting brief filed by four organizations (including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – USA), the Supreme Court of the United States declined review.

Cambridge Documentary Films, Inc. v. Jean Kilbourne and Media Education Foundation
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Sunstein successfully represented Jean Kilbourne, an internationally known media critic, lecturer and writer, in a copyright and trademark infringement case. The plaintiff initiated the suit against Kilbourne seeking to prevent her use of the mark KILLING US SOFTLY in connection with her most recent documentary film, Killing Us Softly III. Kilbourne asserted counterclaims for copyright and trademark infringement. We negotiated a settlement agreement that, among other things, established that the films were derivative works based on Kilbourne’s work and could not be distributed absent a license from Kilbourne, acknowledged Kilbourne’s undisputed right to the KILLING US SOFTLY mark, and allowed her to continue distributing Killing Us Softly III.

Something Else by Peterene v. Roxbury Twain Publishing Company
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Sunstein represented a small business engaged in graphics design. We secured injunctive relief and we negotiated a monetary settlement and agreement against unauthorized use of our client’s copyrighted designs.

Thayer v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Sunstein sued for infringement of Thayer’s copyrighted menu translator books. Shortly after we filed for a preliminary injunction, the defendant agreed to withdraw the four infringing books from the market.

Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. v. Little Brown & Co., et al.
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

On behalf of Consulting Psychologists Press, Sunstein sought a preliminary injunction against the defendants who had used, in their own book, part of the copyrighted Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, without attribution or permission. The defendants agreed to issue a revised edition of the book removing items that infringed on our client’s copyright, and paid part of our client’s attorneys’ fees.

Plumsters, Ltd. v. Converse Inc.

Sunstein represented Converse, deflecting a motion for preliminary injunction and successfully defending a copyright infringement claim related to designs used on consumer products. We obtained a settlement under which our client was licensed and authorized to make use of the allegedly infringing designs.

Lasercomb America, Inc. v. Holiday Steel Rule Die Corporation et al.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina

Sunstein obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting further sales by the defendant company of its software program. On behalf of our client, Lasercomb, we subsequently prevailed at trial on claims of copyright infringement, breach of contract and fraud against a licensee of Lasercomb’s sophisticated CAD/CAM computer software program. The liability finding on fraud was upheld, 911 F.2d 970, and the defendant company, which had waived its appeal, was effectively foreclosed from the relevant software market.

Marling v. Ellison
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Sunstein obtained for Marling, the author of books on Spanish and German cuisine, a substantial damages award and an attorneys’ fees award in a copyright infringement case. In addition, we obtained a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from any further marketing, sale or distribution of his infringing works.

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