A case brought by two lawyers claiming copyright violations against West Publishing Corp. and Lexis for reprinting their legal briefs and documents ended on Feb. 8 when Southern District Judge Jed Rakoff granted summary judgment against the claim of attorney Edward White, of Oklahoma City. White, an intellectual property attorney, had obtained copyright registration on 22 of his documents going back to 2007.
Rakoff had already rejected part of the case in May 2012, specifically claims brought by Manhattan commercial litigator Kenneth Elan seeking redress for copyright infringement for documents on which no registration was obtained. Rakoff called Elan a "brave soul" for seeking copyright protection without registration (NYLJ, May 17), but said there was no chance of Elan succeeding, at least compared to the "far more colorable claims" brought by White.
However, on Feb. 8, in a brief order with an opinion to follow in White v. West Publishing, 12-cv-1340, Rakoff granted summary judgment against White and for West and Lexis on White’s claims that the inclusion of his copyrighted briefs in West’s "Litigator" and LexisNexis’ "Briefs, Pleading and Motions" databases violated the Copyright Act.
Gregory Blue, who represented the plaintiffs along with Raymond A. Bragar of Bragar Eagel & Squire, said they intended to appeal once the judge issues a written opinion. Benjamin Marks was one of several attorneys with Weil, Gotshal & Manges representing West. James Hough of Morrison & Foerster was one of several lawyers who represented LexisNexis.