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Media Alerts - Gaylord v. United States - Federal Circuit
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December 7, 2012
  Gaylord v. United States - Federal Circuit
Headline: $3 Million Royalty Suit May Have Driven USPS Postal

Area of Law: Government liability for copyright infringement

Issue(s) Presented: (1)What factors should be considered in compensating authors for unauthorized governmental use of their work; (2) may an award include prejudgment interest?

Brief Summary: In 2002, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) issued a stamp featuring an image of "The Column," nineteen figures at the heart of the Korean War Veterans' Memorial. In 2006, claiming to be the author and sole owner of copyright in those figures, Frank Gaylord sought compensation. After trial in the Federal Court of Claims, the court ruled for Mr. Gaylord on ownership but found use of the image fair under the Copyright Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, however, reversed on the second issue and remanded for a determination or reasonable compensation.

Although use of the image generated over $30 million in revenue, the trial court awarded Mr. Gaylord only $5,000 and denied interest on that sum since the time of infringement. In this second opinion, the Federal Circuit reverses both rulings.

Date of Issued Opinion: 5/14/2012

Docket Number: 2011-5097

Decided: Reversed

Author of Opinion: Judge Moore

Edited: 12/12/2012 at 10:30 AM by Media Alerts Moderator

    Posted By: Brian Graupner @ 12/07/2012 12:20 PM     Federal Circuit  

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