Texas Trademark Lawyer Tamera Bennett

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Filing Copyright Application: Sufficient for Jurisdiction 5th Circuit

by Tamera H. BennettJanuary 20, 2008

In an unpublished opinion issued October 24, 2007, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals re-affirmed that in the Fifth Circuit pleading a copyright application has been filed for the alleged infringed work is sufficient to comply with the requirements of 17 U.S.C. 411(a).

[N]o action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title.” 17 U.S.C. § 411(a) (2005). Registration is a jurisdictional prerequisite to filing an infringement action. Creations Unlimited, Inc. v. McCain , 112 F.3d 814, 816 (5th Cir. 1997). This court does not require that a certificate from the Copyright Office be obtained before bringing suit, but it does require the plaintiff to have filed an application for registration with the Copyright Office prior to the infringement action. Lakedreams v. Taylor , 932 F.2d 103, 1108 (5th Cir. 1991).

Starr v. Diamler Chrysler, No. 06-60826, (5th Cir. Oct. 24, 2007) (unpublished)