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Stern Electronics, Inc. v. Kaufman
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
669 F.2d 852 (1982)
Stern Electronics, Incorporated (Stern) (plaintiff) sold a video game called Scramble in which the player controls a spaceship that needs to shoot other spaceships and avoid being shot. Omni Video Games, Incorporated (Omni) developed their own game. Omni’s game was also called Scramble, and it was nearly identical to Stern’s Scramble in every way. Stern sued in federal district court for copyright infringement. Omni claimed that it had not infringed Stern’s copyright, because only the game’s code could be copyrighted, not the sights and sounds produced by the software. Because the game was different every time it was played, Omni claimed the subject matter was neither original nor fixed. The district court ruled in favor of Stern, granting a preliminary injunction against Omni. Omni appealed to the Second Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Newman, J.)
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