And the converse, says the Ninth, saves nothing, reports Michael Atkins:
On June 11, the Ninth Circuit upheld the Western District’s award of attorney’s fees on the false designation of origin claim in Derek Andrew, Inc. v. Poof Apparel Corp. However, the court cautioned that if the award included fees based on the Copyright Act, then the award was erroneous because Derek Andrew did not timely register its copyrights and, therefore, could not sustain its copyright claim for statutory damages. The court remanded the case for the Western District to clarify the basis for the award.
Failure to register a copyright deprives the District Court of jurisdiction. Belated registration cures that, but does not operate nunc pro tunc to repair registration deficiencies such as the statutory time limits that must be observed in order to qualify for statutory damages and attorneys’ fees.
So, defendants: Read those copyright registrations! It pays.