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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decided two Indiana cases Friday

In Consumer Health Information Co v. Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SD Ind., Pratt), an 11-page opinion, Judge Sykes writes:

Consumer Health Information Cor-poration sued Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., alleging copyright infringement. 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq. The dispute centers on copyright ownership: Who owns the copyright in certain patient-education materials Consumer Health developed for Amylin’s use in marketing its diabetes drug Byetta? The parties’ contract, executed in March 2006, unambiguously assigns the copyright to Amylin. This suit is an attempt to reclaim ownership of the copyright and recover damages for infringement. To that end, Consumer Health alleges that the contract was induced by fraud or economic distress and seeks rescission. The district court dismissed the suit as untimely.

We affirm. Consumer Health assigned the copyright to Amylin in 2006 but did not file this suit until July 2013, several years too late under either of two applicable statutes of limitations. A four-year limitations period applies to claims for contract rescission under California law, which governs the parties’ contract. CAL. CIV. PROC. CODE § 337. Claims under the Copyright Act are subject to a three-year statute of limitations. 17 U.S.C. § 507(b). Consumer Health’s cause of action accrued in March 2006, when the contract was executed; at that point Consumer Health knew that Amylin owned the copyright, and the limitations clock on a suit to reclaim ownership started ticking. Under either statute of limitations, the suit is untimely. * * *

We’re persuaded by the unanimous line of cases from our sister circuits and now hold that when the gravamen of a copyright suit is a question of copyright ownership, the claim accrues when the ownership dispute becomes explic-it—that is, when the claimant has notice that his claim of ownership is repudiated or contested. Applying this accrual rule here, Consumer Health knew when it signed the Master Services Agreement in March 2006 that Amylin owned the copyright via express assignment. Consumer Health’s suit to reclaim copyright ownership—filed in July 2013—was more than four years too late. AFFIRMED.

In Merrill Roberts v. Commissioner Internal Revenue (US Tax Court), a 15-page opinion, Judge Posner writes:
In 2014 the Tax Court held that the taxpayer, petitioner Merrill Roberts, had deducted the expenses of his horseracing enterprise on his federal income tax returns for 2005 and 2006 erroneously because the enterprise was a hobby rather than a business. The court assessed tax deficiencies of $89,710 for 2005 and $116,475 for 2006. But it also ruled that his business had ceased to be a hobby, and had become a bona fide business, in 2007, and the Internal Revenue Service has not challenged Roberts’ bona fides since, as far as we know. Though now in his seventies, he continues to operate his horse‐racing business. His appeal challenges the assessments for 2005 and 2006. [ILB: There is much about the Indiana horse-racing industry in the opinion.] * * *

The Tax Court’s judgment, insofar as it upholds the deficiencies assessed against the petitioner by the Internal Revenue Service for business deductions in 2005 and 2006, is reversed with instructions to void the deficiencies.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 16, 2016 05:16 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions