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Pivot Point, International, Inc. v. Charlene Products, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
372 F.3d 913 (2004)


Facts

Pivot Point International, Incorporated (Pivot Point) (plaintiff) developed and sold training aids and tools to the hair-design industry. Pivot Point sold mannequin slip-ons, which are facial forms, and hair pieces. Pivot Point’s founder, Leo Passage, wanted to make a mannequin head that imitated the look of high-fashion models. The mannequin head was to be marketed as a high-end product line to be used in hair-design competitions. Passage hired a German artist, Horst Heerlein, to design a sculpture of a female head to that effect, but provided no additional guidance or requirements. Heerlein’s final sculpture, called Mara, was turned into a wax mold that was, in turn, used by a Hong Kong manufacturer to produce Mara mannequin heads. The first Mara heads that Passage inspected had a hairline that was too far back on the mannequin’s head. Another hairline was added in the correct location, but that first lot was shipped with two hairlines underneath the hair. The Mara was popular, and Pivot Point began offering mannequin heads with the same facial features but different hair and skin colors, labeling each with a different name. Charlene Products, Incorporated (Charlene) (defendant) began selling a mannequin head, which they called Liza, with very similar facial features and the double hairline from the first lot of Mara mannequins. After Charlene refused to stop importing and selling the Liza mannequin, Pivot Point sued Charlene for copyright infringement. The district court determined that the Mara mannequin could not be copyrighted and thus granted summary judgment for Charlene. Pivot Point appealed the decision.

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Holding and Reasoning (Ripple, J.)

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Dissent (Kanne, J.)

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