Captain’s Log – April 26th, 2016

Winston & Strawn

Erin Ranahan and Andrew Jick on the day we signed Winston & Strawn to defend us

Tuesday, April, 26th, 2016

Today I just want to touch on what awesome lawyers we have in Erin Ranahan, Andrew Jick, Kelly Oki and the crew at Winston & Strawn.  Reading through their response was an absolute pleasure and you get a feel for how seriously these top-notch litigators take the case.  They may be representing Axanar for free, but they treat us as they would any client.  And Erin has a well deserved reputation as one of the hot young lawyers in Hollywood IP law.

Motion Cover

Now my two favorite parts of the response to Paramount/CBS’s response to our Motion to Dismiss are first when Erin and co. call out Loeb & Loeb for being hypocrites.  Loeb & Loeb basically were arguing the direct opposite of what they argued when defending director James Cameron against a lawsuit for copyright infringement.  From Winston & Strawns response:

In arguing that the Court should not filter out unprotectable elements, Plaintiffs rely on out-of-circuit, inapposite cases involving the copyrightability of a jewelry design2 and a diagram.3 When defending the makers of the movie Avatar against claims of infringement, however, the same counsel representing Plaintiffs here took the contrary position—and obtained dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims because, like Plaintiffs here, the plaintiff had failed to identify any protectable elements of his works that were allegedly infringed by Avatar. Dean v. Cameron, 2013 WL 6417688, at 10 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 14, 2013)

So basically you can’t have it both ways.  At least that is what Erin & co. are arguing.  Of course, it is up to the judge to determine here.

Second, is this nice little dig at the form of the plaintiff’s motion:

“…relying solely on a massive, single-spaced block quote from a district court from over three decades ago…”

What does that mean?  Well, everything needs to be double spaced as you are limited to 10 pages, and single spacing your block quotes is basically cheating.  And Erin knows, because she has been before Judge Klausner before and knows that he is a stickler for form.  Oh sure, this won’t decide the case, but it would be a shame to have your motion kicked because you didn’t follow the simple rules of formatting.

OK, that is it for now.  More tomorrow!