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Senior Communications Manager
WRF Client Wins $20 Million Copyright Infringement Verdict against Legg Mason
Washington, DC—Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP intellectual property litigators, Thomas W. Kirby and Scott E. Bain, won a copyright infringement jury verdict of just under $20 million against Legg Mason, a global financial services company. The eight-person federal jury in Baltimore, MD returned their verdict late in the evening on Friday, October 4, 2003, following a week long trial. By special verdict, the jury found that Legg Mason had willfully infringed registered copyrights covering 240 issues of Lowry's Reports, Inc. financial newsletters by posting the newsletter on the company’s intranet, and emailing it around a group, even after a demand to cease and desist.
Legg Mason argued that the copyright infringements were an innocent mistake by an administrative employee caught up in a technological transition, that Legg Mason had acknowledged and corrected the problem and instituted new training programs, and that $170,000 would be full and fair compensation. WRF responded that Legg Mason as an institution had been reckless in failing to supervise their employees and that management had been fully aware of the practice. WRF also showed that Legg Mason had continued infringing even after it had represented to Lowry's that it had stopped the practice.
WRF's client, Lowry's Reports, Inc., is a small Florida company that publishes a highly respected newsletter providing technical analysis of the U.S. stock market. Its daily and weekly reports are widely used to obtain objective insight into investor psychology. Paul Desmond, who owns Lowry's and has written the reports since 1972, expressed his gratitude to the jury and to the WRF litigation team, whose work he termed "superb."
Wiley Rein & Fielding’s team of copyright litigators included Thomas W. Kirby, Scott E. Bain and Chin Kyung Yoo. Tom Kirby, Lowry's lead trial lawyer, litigates intellectual property and constitutional law cases. He is co-counsel for Senator McConnell and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the challenge to the federal campaign finance case now awaiting decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. WRF litigator Scott Bain specializes in the acquisition, licensing and litigation of copyright, patent, trademark, and other intellectual property rights. He was instrumental in WRF's recent multi-million patent infringement win against makers of the popular Blackberry device. Chin Yoo is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice.
WRF’s Copyright Practice attorneys litigate, negotiate, and counsel owners, technology providers, and alleged infringers in copyright and digital copy protection matters and are particularly active in computer and Internet related issues. The group, led by Bruce G. Joseph, also is at the center of recent policy debates in diverse areas including the appropriate scope of liability for Internet service providers, limitations on the use of special subpoenas to identify Internet users, and approaches to content protection in consumer electronics and computer products.