copyright misuse in the 8th Circuit

Out of the thickets of antitrust doctrine (“Noerr-Pennington”, anyone?) comes a District Court decision concluding that “‘misuse of copyright’ is a viable defense to a copyright infringement action”, and concluding similarly to the unclean hands defense. Hitherto the 8th Circuit had punted on copyright misuse, finding it not applicable in the particular cases it reviewed, while declining to state whether the defense was theoretically available or not. I expect the plaintiff (a racing association claiming infringement of its rules) will appeal.

* Int’l Motor Contest Assn, Inc. v. Staley, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2006 WL 1667889 (D. Iowa 2006 June 19). (Mark W. Bennett, J.)

* Bill Patry’s analysis (7/5)