Kingsbury Int’l., Ltd. v. Trade the News, Inc., No 08 C 3110, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 28, 2008) (Lindberg, Sen. J.).
Judge Lindberg denied defendant’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim and defendant’s alternative Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e) motion for a more definite statement of the claim. Plaintiff alleged that it owned a copyright in its Chicago Business Barometer monthly business index; that it specifically informed its subscribers that the index was copyrighted and that it could not be reproduced or rebroadcast in any manner until plaintiff publicly released the index at 8:45 AM; and that defendant released unidentified “parts” of the May 2007 issue of the index at 8:42 AM, three minutes before plaintiff’s public release. The Court held that these allegations met the Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) pleading standards, without specifically identifying which parts of the index were copied, noting that copyright claims did not require Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) heightened pleading. Furthermore, defendant’s defense that, if anything, it copied only unprotected facts was not appropriate for a Rule 12(b) determination on the pleadings.
Finally, the Court held that the complaint was not “so vague or ambiguous” that it warranted requiring a more definite statement.