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How to file a copyright infringement lawsuit in 6 easy steps!

Posted by Steve Vondran | Feb 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Attorney Steve® Copyright Essentials! Main points to consider when filing a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit in the United States.


Our boutique copyright infringement and entertainment law firm can help file lawsuits alleging violations of music, film, song, lyrics, film, video, book, software, mobile applications, jewelry, computer font, photographs and other types of creative works registered under the U.S. Copyright Law.  This blog provides a general legal information overview on how to file a copyright lawsuit in the U.S.

Steps to file a willful copyright infringement lawsuit

Here are the top 10 steps to consider when filing a copyright lawsuit. This may not be an exclusive jurisdiction so always check with local copyright or IP legal counsel for local requirements.

  1. Add Defendants to lawsuit (make sure to spell their LEGAL NAME – in case you need to get a judgment).  Has to be the proper legal name properly spelled.  It makes sense to double check on each case.
  2. Add Exhibit A (infringement photos) and B (copyright registration certificate).
  3. Make sure the date is right
  4. Fill out and file with the federal court civil cover case sheet
  5. You also need to file (same time) the Rule 7.1. Interested Parties Disclosure (so the judge knows whether or not he/she needs to recuse self).  Here is some information on this topic should you wish to review.
  6. Also, need to take the complaint and send it to the Registrar of Copyrights (they get to keep an eye on the case once its filed, once it's over, and if it goes up on appeal).  Make sure this gets sent to the Registrar, and then you file the proof with the Court.  Make sure this is filed in every case or the case could get kicked out.  A copy of the Notice of Copyright Action is attached below for reference purposes.
  7. Once you get the summons back from the federal court (you need to make sure the Defendant's name is accurate once again) and then make sure to find the RIGHT PLACE TO PERSONALLY SERVE the Defendant.  It is important to get this right the first time.  There is nothing worse than not being able to properly serve a Defendant because the case cannot move forward without out.  You need to track this and make sure on each case that this is being done.  Process serving companies can be lazy and drop the ball. Stay on them or you could risk having your case dismissed!!!
  8. Once defendants are served, file the proof of service with the Court so the Court knows they have been served.  If you need an extension of time to serve, make sure to ask the court to that with the proper motion.
  9. Once the case is settled, you need to file a dismissal (usually with prejudice) with the Court
  10. Close the case with a final notice to the Registrar of Copyrights.

This is the basic process if you need to retain counsel to file or respond to a copyright infringement lawsuit, contact us to discuss.

Report on the Filing of an Action – Copyright

Here is what a sample looks like pulled from a Strike 3 Holdings, LLC file-sharing lawsuit

Report on Filing of Copyright Action

Watch Attorney Steve® explain the 6 steps to filing a copyright infringement lawsuit

VIDEO:  California Copyright Attorney Steve® Vondran discusses the most important steps to consider when filing a copyright infringement lawsuit.  These are 6 steps you should consider.  Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our popular legal channel as we close in on 11,000 SUBSCRIBERS.

Some of these steps are:

  1.  File a detailed complaint naming all the important facts of the case
  2. Set forth jurisdiction and venue
  3. Who are the parties
  4. Set forth the causes of action (various causes of action could be direct infringement, vicarious infringement, contributory infringement, and section 1202 copyright alteration claims)
  5. Add an exhibit showing the infringed (copyright protected work)
  6. Show an Exhibit outlining where the infringed work can be found
  7. Add a copyright registration certificate (showing the photo, software, film, video, art, illustration, jewelry, computer font, etc.) has received federal copyright protection through the United States Copyright Office (“USCO”).
  8. Add a civil cover case sheet
  9. Add the notice of copyright filing so the USCO registrar has notice of the action and can intervene if need be.
  10. Make sure you are asking for all the applicable copyright infringement damages, penalties and remedies.
  11. Add ADR (alternative dispute resolution) package if needed.

Contact a Copyright Infringement Law Firm

We have offices in California and Arizona.  Being a federal case with exclusive federal court jurisdiction, we can usually help people across the United States subject to the local federal court rules of admission.  We have appeared in over 130 federal court cases.  Call us at (877) 276-5084 for more information.  We may be able to take your case on ALL or PART contingency fee basis.  We can help both Plaintiff and Defendants in movie, software, youtube cases, 1202 claims, direct and contributory infringement, and DMCA cases.  We have offices in California (San Diego, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Newport Beacy – Orange County) and Arizona (Phoenix).  Call us for a free initial consultation,

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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