Krueger v. TradeGuider Sys., LLC, No. 07 C 6261, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Nov. 27, 2007) (Kendall, J.)*

Judge Kendall granted plaintiff Todd Krueger’s (“Krueger”) motion to remand this breach of Employment Agreement (“Agreement”) suit to Cook County Circuit Court. Krueger originally filed his Complaint in Cook County Circuit Court. Defendants (collectively “TradeGuider”) remanded the case to the Northern District, arguing that Krueger’s claim for breach of the Agreement, which governed his employment as TradeGuider’s CEO, was a federal copyright claim. TradeGuider reasoned that determining whether it had breached the Agreement required a determination of whether Krueger’s works were works for hire. The Court cited the Seventh Circuit’s narrow view of copyright preemption for contract claims – generally a contract involving copyrights is of a different scope than the copyrights because the contract is a private agreement between parties and a copyright is a right against the world. The alleged breach, therefore, was not essentially a copyright claim because it included rights beyond the copyright. Additionally, the Court reasoned that there was no evidence that suggested any copyright law would have to be interpreted to construe the contract or rule upon the alleged breach.

*Click here for a copy of the opinion.