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Coquico Inc v Rodriguez-Miranda

Coquico, Inc. (Plaintiff, Appellee) vs. Rodriguez-Miranda? (defendant appellants)

562 F.3d 62, First Circuit 2009

Facts: Plaintiff made the Coqui (puerto rican tree frog) into a plush animal toy and registered the work of visual art with Copyright Office. Defendant worked for plaintiff for four years and was given access to sensitive information in design criteria, manufacturing process and profit margins and signed a non-disclosure/non-competition agreement. Within the year, defendant founded his own company for the purpose of political message toys but shortly after began distributing plush toys very similar to plaintiffs.

Procedure: Coquico brought suit for alleged copyright infringement and the district court entered a preliminary injunction against defendant on an evidentiary hearing. Appeal ensued.

Issue: Whether District Court erred in granting a preliminary injunction upon evidence hearing.

Holding: Affirmed. The District Court was correct in granting a preliminary injunction. With the evidence presented, a likelihood of success for the plaintiffs is present.

Reasoning: While defendants their coqui does not copy the original elements of plaintiffs, the court goes through the elements required and finds that it does. For a preliminary injunction to be adequate, there must be likelihood that movants merits will succeed, possibility of suffering irreparable harm, and a balancing of hardships and effect on public interest. Court looks to likelihood of success heavily. They find that case law indicates plush toys and their derivative works are protected under copyright. Analyzing under the claims of copyright infringement the court finds that there is sufficient evidence to find actual copying and substantial similarity between the works.

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Page last modified on Monday 20 of December, 2010 18:43:52 GMT by ccorral1.
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