Joseph D. Steinfield Mentioned on Page 15 of the December 24, 2007 Issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

December 24, 2007

This Week’s Decisions

1st U.S. Court of Appeals

Hummel figurines

Where a U.S. District Court judge entered judgment for the defendants in a dispute over profits from the sale of Hummel figurines, the judge acted permissibly based on the plaintiff’s failure to meet the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations. Affirmed.

Dissenting opinion
Cyr, J. “The majority opinion holds that since the [plaintiff’s] state-law accounting claim might require it to establish as a threshold matter that its predecessor-in-interest, Margarete Seemann, was an original co-owner of the copyright in Das Hummelbuch, the [plaintiff’s] claim thus ‘arises under’ the Copyright Act for purposes of both subject matter jurisdiction and, by logical extension, the Act’s three-year statute of limitations. Inasmuch as the ramifications of this holding — viz., that the federal courts have exclusive subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate all accounting claims between the co-owners of a copyrighted work — are both unprecedented and potentially pernicious, I respectfully dissent.”

Cambridge Literary Properties, Ltd. v. W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik G.m.b.H. & Co. KG., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 01-360-07) (55 pages) (Lynch, J.) (Cyr, Sr. Cir. J., dissenting) (1st Circuit) Appealed from a judgment entered by Gertner, J., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Henry Hermann for the plaintiff-appellant; David P. Shouvlin, with whom Joseph D. Steinfield and David E. Plotkin were on brief, for the defendants-appellees (Docket No. 06-2339) (Dec. 13, 2007).

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