Utopia Provider Systems, Inc. et al v. Pro-Med Clinical Systems, L.L.C., 07 cv 60654 WJZ (S.D. Fla. Feb. 2, 2009).
Utopia is a corporation that managed the rights in a system of charts for use by emergency room physicians. Utopia alleged that Pro-Med’s software infringed its copyright in the charts. Pro-Med argued that the charts lacked sufficient originality to be granted exclusive rights. Judge Zloch of the Southern District of Florida granted summary judgment on Utopia’s claim. Stated the Court:
Works that compile words, but that do not compile facts, are not copyrightable. Thus, “works not subject to copyright” include “[b]lank forms, such as time cards, graph paper, account books, diaries, bank checks, scorecards, address books, report forms, order forms and the like, which are designed for recording information and do not in themselves convey information.” 37 C.F.R. § 202.1(b) (2008). What sets compilations of facts apart from blank forms is the conveyance of information. Because copyright protects the expression of ideas, or original works of authorship, something must be put down on the page to qualify for protection. That something must be of an original and, in this case, literary nature. Feist Publications, 499 U.S. at 345 (noting that the sine qua non of copyright is the authorship of an original work). If the import of a page, even with words and phrases pre-marked on it, is to act as a mere receptacle for information input by the reader, it is not the proper subject of copyright protection. . .
Rather, the law analyzes blank forms not as original works of authorship but as “systems” for recording information. . . Such a system for recording information is not contemplated under the rubric of copyright.
- Utopia Provider Systems, Inc.: Litchford & Christopher (Orlando, FL).
- Pro-Med Clinical Systems, LLC: Hunton & Williams (Miami, FL).