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Carol Barnhart Inc. v. Economy Cover Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
773 F.2d 411(1985)


Facts

In March 1982, Carol Barnhart Inc. (Barnhart) (plaintiff) began producing mannequin forms to be used as retail display models for clothing. By December 1982, Barnhart had designed four forms and taken substantial orders from clothing retailers. In early 1983, Economy Cover Corporation (Economy) (defendant) noticed that Barnhart’s forms did not feature any copyright notices and proceeded to copy each of the four forms to produce Economy’s own versions. Economy began marketing the copied forms in September 1983. Barnhart asked Economy to cease production of the copied forms, but Economy refused. Barnhart subsequently applied for copyright registration of Barnhart’s four forms as sculptural works. The registration was granted, and Barnhart again requested that Economy stop producing the copied forms on the basis of copyright infringement. Economy again refused, and in December 1983, Barnhart filed a copyright-infringement suit, seeking an injunction to prevent Economy from continuing to sell the copied forms. Economy moved for summary judgment on the issue of whether the forms where copyrightable works. The district court granted the motion, finding the forms to be utilitarian articles incapable of copyright protection. Barnhart appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mansfield, J.)

Dissent (Newman, J.)

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