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Intellectual Property Keyed to Merges
Lotus Development Corp. v. Borland International
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Lotus Development Corp. (Lotus) (Plaintiff) marketed a computer spreadsheet program, Lotus 1-2-3. The program incorporated 469 menu commands, such as “Copy,” “Print,” etc. The program also enabled the user to write macros that would designate a series of commands with a single macro keystroke. Borland International (Borland) (Defendant) then released two versions of its own spreadsheet programs, called Quattro and Quattro Pro. Borland (Defendant) included a virtually identical copy of the whole 1-2-3 menu tree in its Quattro programs. It did not copy any of the Plaintiff’s underlying computer code, but it did copy the words and structures of Lotus’s (Plaintiff) menu command hierarchy so that consumers who used Borland’s (Defendant) programs would not have to relearn any commands or rewrite their Lotus (Plaintiff) macros. Plaintiff sued for copyright infringement and received a judgment in its favor. Defendant appealed, arguing that the Lotus (Plaintiff) menu command hierarchy was not copyrightable because it was a system, method of operation, process, or procedure excluded from protection by the Copyright Act.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
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