Preemptive reach of Copyright Act

Globeranger Corp. v. Software AG involved Texas state law claims about the development of a radio frequency identification system.   No. 11-10939 (Aug. 17, 2012).  The defendants removed and obtained dismissal on the grounds of Copyright Act preemption.  The Fifth Circuit agreed that section 301(a) of the Act creates complete preemption, and on the applicable test: “whether [the claim] falls ‘within the subject matter of copyright'” and whether it “protects rights that are ‘equivalent'” to those of a copyright.  Id. at 6 (citing Carson v. Dynegy, 344 F.3d 446, 456 (5th Cir. 2003)).  After through review of prior cases, the Court held that the conversion claim was likely preempted (thereby maintaining federal jurisdiction), but that the general basis for the claims included business practices excluded from copyright protection, making dismissal at the Rule 12 stage inappropriate.  Id. at 10-12.

Recent Related Posts