Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2376302
 


 



Scholars’ Supreme Court Amicus Brief in Support of Neither Party: Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer


Douglas Laycock


University of Virginia School of Law

Mark P. Gergen


University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Doug Rendleman


Washington and Lee University - School of Law

January 8, 2014

Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper
Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2014-09

Abstract:     
The appeal to the Supreme Court in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer deals with the equitable defense of plaintiff’s laches before suing for copyright infringement. Laches is unreasonable and prejudicial delay. MGM allegedly violated plaintiff’s copyright repeatedly over a period of many years; the statute of limitations has not run on the most recent violations. Plaintiff argues that laches should never apply to a cause of action with a statute of limitations. Defendant argues that laches should bar all relief if defendant relied on plaintiff’s failure to sue earlier, without having to match defendant’s reliance to the remedies plaintiff seeks.

This scholars’ amicus brief, which supports neither party, argues against all-or-nothing solutions. In particular, the brief says that laches should be available as needed to protect defendant’s reliance, but that defendant should have to show how particular remedies would unfairly override particular reliance interests. Plaintiff also argues that laches should be unavailable because it would be a ground for refusing an injunction that was not mentioned in eBay v. MercExchange. The scholars’ brief takes this occasion to point out several unintended untoward consequences of the four-part test in eBay.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: Copyright, Equity, Laches, Estoppel, Irreparable injury

JEL Classification: K10, K20

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Date posted: January 9, 2014 ; Last revised: February 10, 2014

Suggested Citation

Laycock, Douglas and Gergen, Mark P. and Rendleman, Doug, Scholars’ Supreme Court Amicus Brief in Support of Neither Party: Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (January 8, 2014). Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2014-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2376302 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2376302

Contact Information

Douglas Laycock
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
Mark P. Gergen
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )
Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
Doug Rendleman (Contact Author)
Washington and Lee University - School of Law ( email )
Lexington, VA 24450
United States
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