Crown Awards, Inc. V. Discount Trophy & Co., Inc.

958 words 4 pages
Crown Awards, Inc. v. Discount Trophy & Co., Inc.
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
2009 U.S. App. Lexis 8540 (2009)

Material Facts of the Case:
Crown Awards is a retailer of awards and trophies sold through mail order catalogs and via the Internet. Crown designed and sold a diamond-shaped spinning trophy for which it owned two copyright registrations. Discount Trophy is one of Crown’s competitors, and it sold a trophy that was substantially similar to Crown’s Spin Trophy. Crown requested that Discount discontinue the sale of the alleged copy, and when Discount refused, Crown filed suit in the Southern District of New York.
Legal and Ethical Issues of the Case:
In order to prevail on a claim of copyright infringement, a
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While acknowledging that Crown's design could be viewed on the Internet after January of 2006, the district court noted that "there is no evidence in the record about the Internet habits" of Xiamen's principal. The district court nevertheless inferred access on the part of Xiamen from the "striking" similarity between the diamond-shaped spinning trophies sold by Crown and Discount. The court further found that the two products were "substantially" similar and shared the same "total concept and feel."
The court further found that "the timing of the order from Discount is . . . suggestive of copying," insofar as "the first Discount trophies were ordered from Lin in the mid-summer of 2006, which is perfect timing if you worked forward from the publication of the Crown catalogs in 2006 and assumed that Xiamen got to work on fabricating a knockoff shortly thereafter. The district court concluded: "I find independent creation to be not only unlikely but absolutely impossible to believe." Accordingly, it ruled in favor of Crown on its claim of infringement.
Court’s Conclusion:
The judgments of the district court were affirmed in favor of the plaintiff. Defendant Discount appeals from the judgments of the district