The assignee of the rights to a screenplay by actress and author Emma Thompson about the life of historical figure Euphemia Gray (Effie Film, LLC) should not have been granted an award of nearly $500,000 in attorney fees and costs that it incurred in successfully seeking a declaratory judgment that its screenplay did not infringe a stage play and a screenplay (both titled The Countess) authored by Gregory Murphy, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City has held (Effie Film, LLC v. Murphy, October 16, 2015, per curiam). A district court abused its discretion in awarding fees on the ground that the author’s arguments were objectively unreasonable.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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