News & Events

Chicago, September 21, 2017

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Client Obtains Summary Judgment in Copyright Case

A U.S. District Court judge granted summary judgment to a Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP restaurant chain client this week in a copyright case.

The ruling from Judge Charlene Honeywell in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted Frenchy's summary judgment as defendant in an action brought by a former employee. The employee created a fishbone design while employed at Frenchy's, and after his employment terminated, he obtained a copyright registration for the design and sued his former employer.

Partner Christopher T. Sheean deposed the plaintiff and, based on the plaintiff’s testimony and other evidence, moved for summary judgment. This week the court found that the design is a work for hire, and that the employer, and not the former employee, owns the copyright, granting Frenchy's summary judgment.

Associates Joelle M. Shabat and Eric J. Skwiat assisted in the result.

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