Hyperquest, Inc. v. N’Site Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 08 C 483, –F. Supp. 2d–, 2008 WL 2446206 (N.D. Ill. Jun. 18, 2008) (Shadur, Sen. J.)
Judge Shadur granted defendants’ motion for attorney’s fees pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 505, after previously dismissing plaintiffs’ copyright claims for lack of standing – click here for the Blog’s post about that opinion. Plaintiff agreed that defendants were not § 505 “prevailing parties” because the case was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. But the Court explained that its opinion and the parties’ underlying briefs used imprecise language, citing an Abraham Lincoln pearl of wisdom:
If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a let don’t make it a leg.
The case was not dismissed for lack of a properly registered copyright (subject matter jurisdiction), but because plaintiff lacked sufficient right to assert the copyright (standing). Because the case was dismissed with prejudice for lack of standing, defendants were prevailing parties and an attorney’s fee award was warranted.