Contact Us Today! (877) 276-5084

Attorney Steve® Blog

How much does it cost to litigate a copyright case?

Posted by Steve Vondran | Jul 23, 2020

Attorney Steve® - Copyright Infringement Essentials - Funding a lawsuit.  Need to discuss litigation, call us at (877) 276-5084.

federal court litigation fees


Copyright cases are brought in federal court where there is exclusive jurisdiction.  They are not cheap.  Our typical retainer for IP litigation is 5-25k (depending upon the complexity of the case), and currently we bill our time hourly at $595 per hour.  Litigation can be expensive because in general you have the following steps depending upon how far the case proceeds:

1.  File a lawsuit (federal court costs $400)

2.  Serve the Defendant(s) ($100 or more)

3.  Answer filed affirmative defenses / Counterclaims (another couple of thousand)

4.  Demurrers / Motion to dismiss (if you have grounds to file a rule 12(b) motion to dismiss)

5. Required meetings of counsel / joint reports

6.  Protective orders (watch my video)

7.  Initial disclosures

8.  Discovery / subpoenas / depositions / request for documents / interrogatories / admissions (this is where things start to get really expensive)

9.  Motions to compel discovery

10. Motion for summary judgment

11.  Orders to mediate (watch my mediation tips here)

12.  Settlement conferences

13. Trial (which can last days and be very expensive).  Learn the difference between a bench trial and jury trial (bench trial would be less expensive)

These are the basic steps you see in litigation.  State court cases can be similar.

14.  Don't forget, even though a trail verdict is reached, there can be an extensive appeals process (costing more time and money, and which could actually send the case back to the trial court for more proceedings).  All this needs to be considered.

NOTE: In some cases, a copyright infringement lawsuit can be taken on a contingency fee basis (for plaintiffs), but for us, we need clear evidence of infringement and a registered copyright and strong evidence of willful infringement.  Also, the bigger the company that is on the other side of the "vs" may require a hybrid fee due to the potential that a case could last for years in the federal court system.  

Defendants often have a harder time finding contingency representation, but the "prevailing party" in copyright litigation is entitled to seek their attorney fees from the court, (which is discretionary and based on a variety of factors).

So in general, copyright lawsuits can last months to years and can cost anywhere from $5,000 (if a quick settlement can be reached) or on up to $350,000 or more for lengthy litigation.

Contact a California copyright infringement law firm

We have litigated hundreds of federal court litigation cases, including:

  1. Strike 3 Holdings defense (p2p file-sharing)
  2. Joe Hand Promotions (boxing piracy cases)
  3. Copyright photo infringement
  4. Jewelry infringement
  5. YouTube DMCA claims
  6. Software disputes and litigation (companies like Siemens, Ansys, Autodesk, Business Software Association, Vero, Solidworks, Microsoft and others)
  7. IPTV defense (MPAA, ACE Alliance, Dish-Nagrastar)

We can review your case by calling us at (877) 276-5084.  You may also email us through our contact form. 

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

Contact us for an initial consultation!

For more information, or to discuss your case or our experience and qualifications please contact us at (877) 276-5084. Please note that our firm does not represent you unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed, and any applicable legal fees are paid. All initial conversations are general in nature. Free consultations are limited to time and availability of counsel and will depend on the type of case you are calling about (no free consultations for other lawyers). All users and potential clients are bound by our Terms of Use Policies. We look forward to working with you!
The Law Offices of Steven C. Vondran, P.C. BBB Business Review