CITE:  229 F.2d 35
CMON:  January 1956
PLAIN: Charles Miner
DEFND: Employers Mutual Liability Insurance Co. of Wisconsin
COURT: United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
DATE:  January 12, 1956

Copyright infringement proceeding.  The United States District Court for
the District of Columbia, Burnita Shelton Mathews, J., granted summary
judgment in favor of defendant, and plaintiff appealed.  The Court of
Appeals held that where there was no similarity in arrangement of words
of plaintiff's copyrighted insurance policies and arrangement of words
in defendant's policy, and defendant had not appropriated in exact form
or substantially so plaintiff's copyright material, there was no
infringement by defendant.


  Method for insurance policy is not copyrightable.

Before BAZELON, WASHINGTON and BASTIAN, Circuit Judges.


Plaintiff-appellant's complaint in the District Court alleged that a form
of insurance policy devised and copyrighted by him had been copied by the
appellee.  The complaint rested in part at least on the theory that the
substance of the coverage given by the plaintiff's policy, namely,
insurance against loss from failure to record chattel mortgages and like
instruments, cannot be provided by other persons of companies without
infringing his copyright.  That theory must fail: others remain free to
compete by offering similar coverages.  See Dorsey v. Old Surety Life
Insurance Co., 10 Cir., 1938, 98 F.2d 872, 874, 110 A.L.R. 1250. {1}
Plaintiff also alleged that defendant's policy form is so closely parallel
in its terms to plaintiff's as to constitute an infringement.  As to this,
the District Court held that "there is no similarity in the arrangement of
words in defendant's policy and that defendant has not appropriated in
the exact form or substantially so plaintiff's copyright material."  The
court was not in error in so holding.  It did not pass, and we find it
unnecessary to pass, upon the validity of plaintiff's copyrights.  The
court correctly concluded "that assuming that plaintiff's copyrights are
valid, there has been no infringement thereof by defendant."

No genuine issue of material fact was raised {2}.  The action of the
District Court in granting summary judgment in favor of the 
defendant-appellee will accordingly be



{1} Cases cited by plaintiff, involving former employees and other persons
in privity, are of course distinguishable.  Smith v. Thompson,
D.C.S.D. Cal. 1941, 43 F. Supp. 848, and cases there cited.

{2} Plaintiff alleged, and defendant denied, that the latter had had
knowledge of and access to plaintiff's policy form.  But this seems an
immaterial issue under all the circumstances of the instant case,
especially since there is no similarity in language.  Cain v. Universal
Pictures Co., D.C.S.D. Cal. 1942, 47 F.Supp. 1013, 1015; cf. Chamberlin
v. Uris Sales Corp., 2 Cir., 1945, 150 F.2d 512; Carr v. National
Capitol Press, 1934, 63 App. D.C. 210, 71 F.2d 220.