Tampa, Fla. – July 13, 2020 – After two years of litigation, Southern District of Florida U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon granted a partial summary judgment in favor of GrayRobinson client Alper Automotive, Inc.
The defendant, Day to Day Imports, Inc. (DDI), is a California corporation that sells its auto accessories under the "Oxgord" trademarks. Harold Walters, author and owner of Copyright Registrations No. VAu001299058 and No. VAu001317214 entered into a written license agreement with Oxgord Incorporated in 2018, which granted DDI rights to "make, market, distribute and sell products through all channels of trade except eBay.com and its affiliated websites in return for a one-time payment."
Alper is a Florida corporation that sells automotive replacement parts, including dash button sticker repair kits for car radios. Between May and December 2018, Alper received several complaints from Amazon.com relating to Alper’s allegedly infringing material. Each time, Alper’s Amazon listing was reinstated. After reviewing the listings, DDI reported infringement to Amazon.com through counsel. In December 2018, Alper filed the instant lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that the copyright rights related to a sticker sheet were not infringed and not valid. DDI answered and asserted their counterclaim for copyright infringement based on Walters’ representations that he had copyright registrations on his car radio sticker sheets. Alper filed its answer and affirmative defense on September 16, 2019, alleging that the V7 Design was not the actual copyright deposit corresponding to the copyright registration number identified in the counterclaims, and alleging that the specimen submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office was something different from the V7 Design. Ultimately, the Court agreed with Alper and found the sticker sheets not copyrightable due to their functionality.