United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Intellectual Property — copyright
Before invalidating a copyright, a district court must first consult of the Register of Copyrights.
“Swift and his allies (whom he paid to file suit against his partners) now appeal the trial court’s ruling. They contend that the district court erred in issuing a declaratory judgment invalidating a copyright registration that Swift’s marketing company, DeliverMed Holdings, LLC, obtained for a logo used by the partnership. We must agree with Swift on this issue. We have no problem with the district court’s finding that Swift misrepresented a material fact in DeliverMed’s application to register a copyright in the logo. But the district court erred in invalidating DeliverMed’s copyright registration without first consulting the Register of Copyrights as to the significance of the inaccurate information Swift knowingly provided. Because the Copyright Act requires courts to perform this curious procedure before invalidating a registration because of a fraud on the Copyright Office, we reverse this part of the court’s judgment and remand for further proceedings.”
Affirmed in part, and Reversed in part.
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Gilbert, J., Williams, J.