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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

federal court litigation fees


Copyright cases are brought in federal court.  They are not cheap.  Our typical retainer is 5-10k (depending upon the complexity of the case) and currently we bill our time hourly at $495 per hour.  Litigation can be expensive because in general you have the following steps:

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

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

3.  Answer filed / Affirmative defenses / Counterclaims

4.  Demurrers / Motion to dismiss

5. Required meetings of counsel / joint reports

6.  Protective orders

7.  Initial disclosures

8.  Discovery / subpoenas / depositions / request for documents / interrogatories / admissions

9. Motions to compel discovery

10. Motion for summary judgment

11.  Orders to mediate

12.  Settlement conferences

13. Trial (can last days which can be very expensive)

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

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.  Usually, we need evidence of willful infringement.

Defendants 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 lasts months to years and can cost from $5,000 (if a quick settlement can be reached) or on up to $100,000 or more for lengthy litigation.

Contact a California copyright infringement law firm

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

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