Judge Alito on Copyright

Yesterday, Larry Ribstein offered a fascinating analysis of numerous of Judge Samuel Alito’s opinions in business law cases. Dave Hoffman, from his new berth at Concurring Opinions, has already followed up with some additional analysis of one of the securities cases Larry describes.

Intrigued by Larry’s method, I searched for Judge Alito’s opinions in intellectual property cases. I found only one case, with two opinions … one in 2001 and one in 2004 … where Judge Alito tackled an interesting i.p. question head-on. The dispute involved the copyrightability of a parts numbering system for screw fasteners. Judge Alito, writing for an en banc court in December 2004, concluded that the numbering system was not eligible for copyright protection. I’ll post a full analysis later today. The cites for the cases are: Southco, Inc. v. Kanebridge Corp., 258 F.3d 148 (3d Cir. 2001); and Southco, Inc. v. Kanebridge Corp., 390 F.3d 276 (3d Cir. 2004) (en banc).

UPDATE: William Patry has beat me to it! Read his analysis of Southco here.

UPDATE 2: Laura Quilter also offers interesting analysis of Judge Alito’s court opinions in copyright, cyberlaw, and First Amendment cases here.

2 thoughts on “Judge Alito on Copyright

  1. Pingback: derivative work » Blog Archive » alito on copyright, first amendment, cyberlaw

  2. Over the years, I have had various commercial cases decided by Third Circuit panels including Judge Alito, for car manufacturers and insurance companies. I recall arguing in front of him early in his career as a Circuit Judge and found him to be exceptionally bright and very, very well prepared. It is a startling revelation for new lawyers that some (dare I say too many?) judges have little interest in contract law disputes, and Judge Alito’s attention to the issues in that private dispute — that no one except the litigants and their counsel cared about — gave me a favorable imperssion of him that I have retained over the years, win or lose in front of him. Given the type of law that I practice, I was unaware of and paid no attention to his stances on hot-button political issues until his name started to surface for the Supreme Court.

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