C. Secondary Trademark Infringement and Secondary Copyright Infringement Pleaded Together
Many cases involve the infringement of both copyright and trademark rights, both directly and indirectly. See e.g. Hard Rock Café Licensing Corp. v. Concession Services Inc., 955 F.2d 1143 (7th Cir. 1992); Too, Inc. v. Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. 213 F.R.D. 138 (S.D.N.Y. 2003); Microsoft Corp. v. Black Cat Computer Wholesale, Inc., 269 F.Supp.2d 118 (W.D.N.Y. 2002); Microsoft Corp. v. Grey Computer, 910 F.Supp. 1077 (D. Md. 1995). The standards for pleading both types of claims are similar, and the courts therefore will often incorporate the plaintiff’s arguments and their own analysis regarding both claims in one discussion. See, e.g. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., v. Gamemasters, 87 F.Supp.2d 976, 985-986 (N.D. Cal. 1999)(combining both discussions); Microsoft Corp. v. Grey Computer, supra at 1085 n.5, 1090-1091 (D. Md. 1995)(noting that it would not repeat plaintiff’s copyright arguments in its trademark infringement analysis). And see Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences v. Network Solutions, Inc., 989 F.Supp. 1276, 1279-1280 (C.D. Cal. 1997) (applying the Betamax secondary copyright infringement standard to a claim for secondary trademark infringement).
Note, however, that notwithstanding their similarities, the Supreme Court has expressly distinguished the two areas of law, holding that secondary liability for trademark infringement must be drawn more narrowly than secondary liability for copyright infringement. Sony Corp. of America v. Universal Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417, 439 n.19, 104 S.Ct. 774, 787 (1984). See also Perfect 10, Inc. v. Visa Int’l Service Ass’n., 494 F.3d 788, 806 (9th Cir. 2007); Fonovisa, Inc. v. Cherry Auction, Inc. 76 F.3d 259, 265 (9th Cir. 1996); Am. Tel. & Tel. Co. v. & Conserve Program, Inc., 42 F.3d 1421, 1441 (3rd Cir. 1994); Hard Rock Café Licensing v. Concession Services, 955 F.2d 1143, 1150 (7th Cir. 1992); Bangkok Broadcasting v. IPTV, 742 F.Supp.2d 1101, 1118 (C.D.Cal. 2010); Symantec Corp. v. CD Micro, Inc., 286 F.Supp.2d 1265, 1275 (D. Ore. 2003); Microsoft Corp. v. V3 Solutions, Inc. 2003 WL 22038593, *13 (N.D. Ill. 2003). And see Tiffany v. eBay, 576 F.Supp.2d 463, 510, n.37 (S.D.N.Y. 2008), affirmed in part and remanded in part, 600 F.3d 93, 108 – 109 (2d Cir. 2010), cert denied, 131 S.Ct. 647 (2010)(applying the Sony Court’s interpretation of Inwood).
A failure to distinguish the two standards led to a dismissal with leave to amend in one case, see Perfect 10, Inc. v. Visa Int’l Service Ass’n, 2004 WL 1773349, *6 (N.D. Cal. 2004) (dismissing plaintiff’s contributory and vicarious trademark infringement claims with leave to amend where plaintiff mistakenly pleaded copyright infringement standards)(unpublished opinion). See also Johnson v. Jones, 885 F.Supp. 1008, 1015-1016 (E.D. Mich. 1995) (dismissing claim where plaintiff alleged contributory copyright infringement but argued violation under the Lanham Act). And see, regarding vicarious liability, Am. Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Winback and Conserve Program, Inc., supra at 1441 (rejecting plaintiff’s vicarious liability argument based on copyright laws); Banff Ltd. v. Limited, Inc., 869 F.Supp. 1103, 1111 (S.D.N.Y. 1994)(refraining from consideration of vicarious trademark infringement liability where a fortiori, plaintiff failed to meet even stricter standard for vicarious copyright infringement).
Note further that, as to cases in which both contributory copyright and trademark infringement are pleaded together, it has been held that if a defendant infringes upon both a plaintiff’s copyright and its trademark, the plaintiff can recover both statutory damages under the Copyright Act and actual damages under the Lanham Act. See A & M Records v. Abdallah, 948 F.Supp. 1449, 1459 (C.D. Cal. 1996), citing Nintendo of America v. Dragon Pacific Int’l 40 F.3d 1007, 1011 (9th Cir. 1994); Microsoft Corp. v. Grey Computer, 910 F.Supp. 1077, 1091 (D. Md. 1995).