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Design Data Corp. v. Unigate Enterprise, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

February 9, 2017

Design Data Corporation, a Nebraska corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Unigate Enterprise, Inc., DBA Unigate Steel Detailing, a California corporation; Unigate Graphic, Inc., DBA Unigate Steel Detailing, a California corporation; Unigate Investment, Inc., DBA Unigate Steel Detailing, a California corporation; Louis Liu, an individual; Helen Zhang, an individual; Jianjun Liu, an individual, Defendants-Appellees. Design Data Corporation, a Nebraska corporation, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Unigate Enterprise, Inc., DBA Unigate Steel Detailing, a California corporation; Unigate Graphic, Inc., DBA Unigate Steel Detailing, a California corporation; Louis Liu, an individual; Helen Zhang, an individual, Defendants-Appellants.

          Argued and Submitted October 17, 2016 San Francisco, California

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California D.C. No. 3:12-cv-04131-WHO, William Horsley Orrick III, District Judge, Presiding

          Kymberleigh N. Korpus (argued) and Yano Rubinstein, Rubinstein Law, San Francisco, California, for Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee.

          J. James Li, Ph.D. (argued), LiLaw Inc., Los Altos, California, for Defendants-Appellees/Cross-Appellants.

          Before: Michael Daly Hawkins, Consuelo M. Callahan, and Andrew D. Hurwitz, Circuit Judges.

          SUMMARY [*]

         Copyright

         The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's summary judgment in favor of the defendants in an action under the Copyright Act.

         Design Data Corporation alleged that Unigate Enterprise, Inc., infringed the copyright on Design Data's computer aided design program by downloading an unauthorized copy of the program and importing and distributing within the United States program output generated by a Chinese contractor using an unauthorized copy of the program.

         The panel reversed the district court's summary judgment on the downloading claim. The panel held that there was a material question of fact whether Unigate's download was more than an insignificant violation of Design Data's copyright.

         The panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment on the importation-and-distribution claim. The panel held that the copyright in the program did not extend to the program's output of images and files. The panel also affirmed the district court's decision to refuse Design Data a further opportunity to amend its complaint.

          OPINION

          HAWKINS, Circuit Judge:

         Introduction

         We address issues concerning the scope and reach of copyright protection. Design Data Corporation ("Design Data") brought the underlying action against Unigate Enterprise, Inc. ("UE"), alleging that UE infringed the copyright on Design Data's computer aided design ("CAD") program by downloading an unauthorized copy of the program and importing and distributing within the United States program output generated by a Chinese contractor using an unauthorized copy of the program. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. Determining that a genuine issue of material fact exists with respect to the downloading claim, we reverse the district court's grant of summary judgment in part and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion. At the same time, we ...


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