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Chicago IP Litigation Tracking Northern District of Illinois IP Cases

Pleading Requirements are Governed by Federal Law

Posted in Pleading Requirements

Allen v. Destiny’s Child, No. 06 C 6606, Min. Order (N.D. Ill. Jul. 30, 2007) (Holderman, C.J.).*

Judge Holderman granted in part defendant Andrea Murray’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s copyright infringement and related state law tort claims.  Plaintiff alleges that defendants, including the musical group Destiny’s Child and its members, infringed plaintiffs’ copyrights in his song “Cater 2 U” by producing and selling Destiny’s Child’s song of the same name (watch the video of  Destiny’s Child’s version on their website).  The Court denied the motion as to plaintiff’s copyright infringement claims for the reasons set forth in a separate order of the same date (you can read more about it in the Blog’s archives). The Court dismissed with prejudice plaintiff’s misappropriation claim because plaintiff failed to prove that Illinois recognizes a misappropriation claim separate from the Illinois Trade Secret Act. Additionally, plaintiff failed to identify a difference between his misappropriation claim and his claims for breach of implied contract and copyright infringement. The Court also dismissed plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentation claim with prejudice because plaintiff failed to produce evidence beyond a broken promise that defendants intended fraud. 

Defendant also argued that plaintiff’s breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract claims should be dismissed because the alleged breaches occurred in or before 2000, but plaintiff did not file his complaint until November 2006. But plaintiff pled that he did not become aware of the breaches until the November 2004 release of the Destiny’s Child album that included Cater 2 U. Because plaintiff’s complaint did not establish a statute of limitations defense, the Court allowed the claims. Additionally, the Court noted that defendant’s arguments regarding pleading requirements were based in Illinois, despite the fact that federal pleadings are controlled by federal law.

*  You can read a copy of the Minute Order here.