March 21, 2024 |

Kibler Fowler & Cave LLP Team Secures Appellate Victory in Copyright Infringement Case

In a victory for Kibler Fowler & Cave’s Entertainment and Intellectual Property Litigation and Appellate Litigation practice groups, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a copyright infringement action against firm client The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of Europe’s largest university hospitals.

On November 4, 2022, the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed the first amended complaint in a copyright infringement action brought by Plaintiff MMAS Research against defendants The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Smartpatient GmbH and My Therapy. On February 28, 2023, the District Court dismissed plaintiff’s second amended complaint without leave to amend, finding that MMAS did not meet its burden to prove that the copyright claim should be in federal court as it failed to establish standing to sue for copyright infringement and the Court’s jurisdiction over alleged infringements that occurred entirely outside of the United States. Without a federal claim, the District Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff’s remaining state law claims. Read more here.

On March 13, 2024, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of the underlying action. The Court found that the District Court properly considered MMAS’s claims under the Copyright Act rather than the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), noting that MMAS failed to allege facts to prove a DMCA violation, “make a DMCA argument to the district court, or otherwise alert the district court that it was pursuing a claim under the DMCA.” The Court also affirmed the dismissal of MMAS’s state law claims, finding that MMAS failed to allege the citizenship of parties other than Smartpatient GmbH in its complaint. The Court further noted that while defective allegations of jurisdiction may be amended, the District Court “previously put MMAS on notice that its jurisdictional allegations were defective, and MMAS did nothing to correct them.”

The KF&C team is comprised of Partner John Fowler, Counsel Stephen Raiola (who argued the appeal), Senior Associate Kevin Cammiso, Associate Zien Halwani, and Paralegal Praveeta Garcia.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision can be found here.

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