On February 22, Chief Judge Saris in the District of Massachusetts issued an opinion on a motion to dismiss implicating several complex copyright infringement issues. The Chief Judge’s ruling analyzed whether several allegedly infringing works could be considered “substantially similar” to the copyrighted works, as required to support a claim of copyright infringement. The “substantial similarity” analysis produced different results depending on the particular work under consideration.
The Plaintiff, LovePop, Inc. (“LovePop”), produces three-dimensional pop-up greeting cards, inspired by a paper-cutting art form called kirigami, for a variety of purposes. The Defendant, PaperPopCards, Inc., (“PaperPop”) also sells three-dimensional pop-up greeting cards. LovePop alleged that PaperPop “slavishly copied” each of nine LovePop designs and that six of the designs appear in instructional videos posted on PaperPop’s website. LovePop sued for infringement of its copyrights in the designs and related videos, claiming that PaperPop had produced impermissible “derivative works” within the scope of LovePop’s exclusionary rights. Continue Reading