Seward & Kissel obtained a significant decision in our client’s favor in the area of copyright law.

November 9, 2010

Seward & Kissel represented a software designer in a suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against defendants alleging that Plaintiff was a joint author of a series of software titles with the Defendants, and that Defendants violated Plaintiff’s rights as a joint author in issuing an updated software series without consulting or paying Plaintiff. Plaintiff also brought claims of copyright infringement in the alternative and breach of Exceller’s contractual right to make “major enhancements” to the FOG software. Defendants moved to dismiss all claims. The Court denied the motion to dismiss the joint authorship, copyright infringement, and breach of contract claims. With respect to joint authorship, the court ruled that Defendants had not established as a matter of law that the parties were not joint owners. Most cases involving a contested determination of joint authorship do not involve a written contract, and the court’s evaluation of the terms of the contract against the requirement of intent and cases interpreting evidence of intent in the absence of a contract is unusual and possibly unique. This achievement was covered by many publications including dbusinessnews,,, and