Brayton Purcell’s Copyright Infringement Case Affirmed

Brayton Purcell LLP Triumphs in Copyright Infringement Case

On Wednesday, August 5, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court that Northern California was the proper venue for Brayton Purcell’s copyright infringement suit against the law firm of Recordon & Recordon.

In May 2006, an arbitrator decided in favor of Brayton Purcell LLP in the plagiarism suit over the firm’s Elder Abuse Information site. The suit was filed when it was discovered, through the use of Copyscape, software that checks the internet for copies of site content, that the Recordon firm had pirated both articles and images from the Elder Abuse site for use on their own web site. Recordon stated that it had hired Apptomix, a Southern California web design firm, to add an elder law section to their web site.

At a settlement conference, both parties agreed to binding arbitration. After the arbitrator decided in Brayton Purcell’s favor and the district court entered the judgment, Recordon appealed. It challenged on the district court’s denial of its motion to dismiss for improper venue.

In Wednesday’s decision, the appellate court opined that the three-prong test the court uses to determine whether a party has sufficient contacts in a state to be subject to that state’s jurisdiction even if they do not reside in that state had been met. In the Federal courts, this same “statehood” test is used for determining whether a case is properly venued in a particular federal district court. By infringing on Brayton Purcell’s copyright, a firm known to be located in Northern California, Recordon “expressly aimed” its conduct at Northern California and the case was properly venued there even though the Recordon firm was located in San Diego in the Southern District.