A To Z Machining Service, LLC v. National Storm Shelter, LLC

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright
  • Date Filed: 12-29-2011
  • Case #: CIV-10-422-C
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Cauthron
  • Full Text Opinion

Plaintiff must have a valid copyright registration before filing for copyright infringement; preregistration is not a registered work within the meaning of 17 U.S.C. §411.)

A To Z Machining Service, LLC (“AZM”) and National Storm Shelter, LLC (“NSS”) both made storm shelters for consumer use. AZM claimed that NSS copied their storm shelter design and their marketing materials. At the time of filing suit AZM had only preregistered for a copyright to their storm shelter designs. About a month after filing suit AZM was granted copyright registration of their storm shelter designs. NSS moved for summary judgment against AZM because preregistration of a copyright does not satisfy the condition of having a registered copyright in a copyright infringement action. AZM claimed that because they were given their copyright registration before the court made its decision the issue is moot and that the copyright registration should refer back to the time of preregistration. However, the court found that a pending application is not a registered work within the meaning of 17 U.S.C. §411 and further that preregistration was not applicable in this instant case. As a result the court GRANTED summary judgment for NSS.

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