On May 1, 2019, two U.S. copyright bills referred to as the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019” or “CASE Act of 2019” were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 2426) and the Senate (S. 1273).
The CASE Act bills propose to create a voluntary small claims system to adjudicate copyright infringement claims, as an alternative to federal court litigation. The proposed CASE Act would create a new Copyright Claims Board (CCB) in the United States Copyright Office (USCO). The proposed CCB would involve a panel of three Copyright Claims Officers with the power to award up to $30,000 in monetary recovery (excluding attorney fees or costs awarded in cases involving bad faith conduct), subject to a condition that statutory damages may not exceed: (1) $15,000 for each infringed work that was timely registered; or (2) for infringed works that were not timely registered but eligible for statutory damages, $7,500 per work or a total of $15,000 in any one proceeding.
A prior CASE Act bill was introduced in the House (H.R.3945) in 2017, but expired without being passed.
The Beggs & Lane Intellectual Property Group assists clients throughout the U.S. and worldwide with copyright and other intellectual property (IP) matters, including registration, licensing, assignments, work for hire agreements, and litigation.