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Establishing infringement of “thin” copyrights


SKU: IIPye211. Category: .


Abstract: The copyright troll, whose business model the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has described as an “intellectual property shakedown,” again found its claims under scrutiny by the court. This time, the court took the occasion to clarify what’s necessary for a successful claim of infringement of works with “thin” copyright protection. This article reviews two well-established copyright doctrines: scènes à faire and merger. It looks at how they restrict the ability of infringement plaintiffs to claim expansive intellectual property rights. A brief sidebar details how the copyright troll plaintiff operates. Design Basics, LLC v. Signature Construction, Inc., Nos. 19-2716 (7th Cir. April 23, 2021); Design Basics, LLC v. Lexington Homes, Inc., 858 F.3d 1093 (7th Cir. 2017).

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