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Christian v. Mattel, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
286 F.3d 1118 (9th Cir. 2003)


Facts

Hicks, an attorney, brought suit on behalf of Christian (plaintiff), claiming that Mattel Inc.’s (defendant) Barbie dolls infringed Christian's Claudene doll sculpture copyright. The district court granted Mattel’s motion for summary judgment and Rule 11 sanctions against Hicks. The district court found that Hicks should have discovered prior to filing suit that Mattel's dolls could not have infringed Christian's copyright because the Mattel dolls had been created well prior to the Claudene doll. Moreover, Hicks had behaved "boorishly" during discovery and had a history of prior litigation misconduct.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (McKeown, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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