In a copyright infringement case, Enterprise Management Limited, Inc. and Mary Lippitt appealed a summary judgment in favor of Donald Warrick. Lippitt contended, contrary to the district court’s holding, she demonstrated a prima facie case of copyright infringement. At issue was a diagram Lippitt created in the course of her work in organizational management. The diagram aimed to encapsulate and communicate the results of her research on the failures of complex organizational change initiatives. She created and registered the first version of the diagram in 1987; sometime around 1996, she updated it. She registered the update as part of a larger work in 2000; it was also included in materials she registered in 2003. In his motion for summary judgment, Warrick argued:
(1) Lippitt could not prove she held a valid copyright on the diagram because she could not produce the diagram from the materials accompanying her 1987 registration to show its similarity to Warrick’s diagram;
(2) Lippitt’s diagram was not copyrightable; and
(3) Warrick’s diagram did not infringe on any protected expression in Lippitt’s diagram.
After hearing arguments, the court granted Warrick’s motion without issuing a written opinion. Lippitt contended summary judgment was inappropriate. In her view, her copyright infringement claim was viable because her diagram was entitled to copyright protection and Warrick admits to copying her duly registered diagram. Finding no merit to Warrick’s arguments on appeal, the Tenth Circuit reversed the district court and remanded the case for further proceedings.
enterprise v warwick
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