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Practice Management Information Corp. v. American Medical Association

121 F.3d 516 (1997)

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Practice Management Information Corp. v. American Medical Association

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

121 F.3d 516 (1997)

Facts

In 1977, Congress directed the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to establish a uniform code for identifying medical procedures on Medicare and Medicaid claim forms. Instead of designing a new code, the HCFA contracted with the American Medical Association (association) (defendant) to use the association’s coding system called the Physician’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT). The agreement gave the HCFA a nonexclusive, royalty-free, and irrevocable license to use, publish, and distribute the CPT. In exchange, the HCFA agreed not to use any other system for reporting physicians’ services and agreed to require the use of the CPT in programs administered by the HCFA. Practice Management Information Corporation (Practice Management) (plaintiff) was a publisher and distributor of medical books that purchased copies of the CPT from the association for resale. After being refused a volume discount it had requested, Practice Management sought a declaratory judgment that the association’s copyright in the CPT was invalid because, among other reasons, the association’s agreement with the HCFA constituted copyright misuse. The district court granted partial summary judgment to the association and preliminarily enjoined Practice Management from publishing the CPT. Practice Management appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Browning, J.)

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