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Polar Bear Productions, Inc. v. Timex Corporation

384 F.3d 700 (2004)

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Polar Bear Productions, Inc. v. Timex Corporation

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

384 F.3d 700 (2004)

Facts

Timex Corporation (defendant), a company that made watches, hired Polar Bear Productions (Polar Bear) (plaintiff) to produce a film featuring extreme kayaking. Although Timex had a license to use this film for one year in its promotional materials, Timex continued to use the film at trade shows and in trainings beyond the licensed time period. Polar Bear sued Timex for copyright infringement, and a jury returned a verdict of $2,415,000. Of this verdict, $315,000 was for actual damages and $2.1 million was for indirect profits gained from Timex’s infringement. The actual-damages award included licensing fees that Polar Bear lost the opportunity to receive as well as the cost of thousands of copies of the films that Polar Bear claimed it did not have the capacity to produce and sell because Timex failed to pay Polar Bear’s licensing fee. The indirect-profits award consisted of profits from three sources: sales at trade shows, use of a copyrighted image in an advertisement for Mountain Dew, and overall brand prestige resulting from Timex’s association with extreme kayaking. Polar Bear’s expert calculated the profits attributable to the film’s use at the trade shows and in the Mountain Dew commercials. Timex filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law on Polar Bear’s claims for actual damages and indirect lost profits.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McKeown, J.)

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