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Vrng v Goog - Cafc - Notice Supp Auth (May 22, 2014)

Vrng v Goog - Cafc - Notice Supp Auth (May 22, 2014)

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Published by: Daniel Ravicher on May 22, 2014
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05/22/2014

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2040 Main St., 14th Fl., Irvine, CA 92614
T
 (949) 760-0404
Joseph R. ReJoe.Re@knobbe.com
 May 22, 2014 V
IA
CM/ECF The Honorable Daniel E. O’Toole Circuit Executive and Clerk of the Court United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit The Howard T. Markey National Courts Building 717 Madison Place, NW Washington, D.C. 20439 Re:
I/P Engine, Inc. v. AOL Inc. et al
, Appeal Nos. 2013-1307, -1313  Argued: May 6, 2014
(Judges Mayer, Wallach, Chen)
 
I/P Engine’s Citation of Supplemental Authority Dear Mr. O’Toole: Pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(j), I/P Engine, Inc. submits this letter addressing new authority relevant to Plaintiff’s Cross-Appeal. On May 19, 2014, the Supreme Court decided
Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
, No. 12-1315 (attached hereto), holding that laches could not bar a copyright claim for infringements occurring during the three-year period of 17 U.S.C. § 507(b). The Court reversed the Ninth Circuit because it failed to recognize that the Copyright Act’s statute of limitations “itself takes account of delay.” Slip op. at 11. The Court explained that laches is a “gap-filling, not legislation-overriding” measure.
Id
. at 14. The Court knew of “no case in which [it] has approved the application of laches to bar a claim for damages brought within the time allowed by a federal statute of limitations.”
Id
.
Petrella
 requires the Federal Circuit to reverse the laches ruling below. Though the Supreme Court has “not had occasion to review the Federal Circuit’s position” on laches set forth in
 A.C. Aukerman Co. v. R.L. Chaides Constr. Co.
, 960 F.2d 1020 (Fed. Cir. 1992) (
en banc
), slip op
.
at 13 n.15,
Petrella
 squarely conflicts with
 Aukerman
.
Petrella
 is clear: “in [the] face of a statute of limitations enacted by Congress, laches cannot be invoked to bar legal relief.”
Id
. at 13. Indeed, applying laches to bar legal relief in patent cases poses a sharper conflict with statute than in copyright cases. Whereas § 507(b) of the copyright law is a traditional statute of limitations barring untimely
claims
, 35 U.S.C. § 286 is specifically directed to the time period for recovering
damages
. Invoking the equitable doctrine of laches to constrict the express damages period established by § 286 improperly overrides this legislation and sets “a time limit other than the one Congress prescribed.” Slip op
.
 at 15.
Petrella
 is intervening authority that requires this Court to overrule
 Aukerman
. Such a ruling would require the panel to reject the district court’s decision to apply laches to bar all damages accruing within the six-year period before this suit was filed. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Respectfully submitted,
s/Joseph R. Re
Joseph R. Re
Case: 13-1307 Document: 103 Page: 1 Filed: 05/22/2014
 
 Via CM/ECF
Page 2
 Enclosure as noted cc: David A. Perlson (via CM/ECF)
16841262
Case: 13-1307 Document: 103 Page: 2 Filed: 05/22/2014
 
 
1
(Slip Opinion)
OCTOBER TERM, 2013 Syllabus
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as isbeing done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has beenprepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See
United States
 v.
 Detroit Timber & Lumber Co.,
 200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
Syllabus
PETRELLA
v
. METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER, INC.,
ET AL
.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT No. 12–1315. Argued January 21, 2014—Decided May 19, 2014 The Copyright Act (Act) protects copyrighted works published before1978 for an initial period of 28 years, renewable for a period of up to 67 years. 17 U. S. C. §304(a). The author’s heirs inherit the renewal rights. See §304(a)(1)(C)(ii)–(iv). When an author who has assignedher rights away “dies before the renewal period, . . . the assignee maycontinue to use the original work only if the author’s successor trans-fers the renewal rights to the assignee,”
Stewart
 v.
 Abend
, 495 U. S. 207, 221. The Act provides both equitable and legal remedies for in-fringement: an injunction “on such terms as [a court] may deem rea-sonable to prevent or restrain infringement of a copyright,” §502(a);and, at the copyright owner’s election, either (1) the “owner’s actualdamages and any additional profits of the infringer,” §504(a)(1),which petitioner seeks in this case, or (2) specified statutory damag-es, §504(c). The Act’s statute of limitations provides: “No civil actionshall be maintained under the [Act] unless it is commenced within three years after the claim accrued.” §507(b). A claim ordinarily ac-crues when an infringing act occurs. Under the separate-accrual rule that attends the copyright statute of limitations, when a defendant has committed successive violations, each infringing act starts a newlimitations period. However, under §507(b), each infringement is ac-tionable only within three years of its occurrence.Here, the allegedly infringing work is the motion picture Raging Bull, based on the life of boxing champion Jake LaMotta, who, withFrank Petrella, told his story in,
inter alia,
a screenplay copyrighted in 1963. In 1976, the pair assigned their rights and renewal rights,which were later acquired by respondent United Artists Corporation,a subsidiary of respondent Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (collectively, MGM). In 1980, MGM released, and registered a copyright in, the
Case: 13-1307 Document: 103 Page: 3 Filed: 05/22/2014

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