United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
RONALDO DESIGNER JEWELRY, INC. PLAINTIFF
JAMES B. COX and CATHERINE A. COX d/b/a JC DESIGNS d/b/a WIRE N RINGS and JOHN DOE a/k/a LEROY and JOHN DOES No. 1 through 99 DEFENDANTS
M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
intellectual property case is before the Court on
“Defendants James B. Cox and Catherine A. Cox's
Motion for Issuance of Request to Register of Copyrights
pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 411(b)(2).” Doc. #143.
April 28, 2017, Ronaldo Designer Jewelry, Inc.
(“Ronaldo Inc.”) filed a second amended complaint
in this case against James B. Cox and Catherine A. Cox d/b/a
JC Designs d/b/a Wire N Rings, John Doe a/k/a Leroy, and John
Does Numbers 1 through 99, alleging, among other things,
claims for copyright infringement for various wire bracelets.
Doc. #82. On September 2, 2018, the Coxes, alleging that
“the information … Ronaldo provided in its
copyright applications … for the Power of Prayer
jewelry design and the Angelina jewelry design … was
materially inaccurate and incomplete, ” moved this
Court pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 411(b)(2) to issue a
request to the Register of Copyrights to determine whether
the Register would have refused Ronaldo Inc.'s
registrations in light of the alleged inaccurate or missing
information. Doc. #143 at 1.
April 24, 2019, after full briefing on the motion, this Court
entered an order finding that the parties applied the
incorrect legal standard in their briefs. Doc. #316.
Accordingly, the Court directed Ronaldo Inc. to file a
supplemental response and granted the Coxes leave to file a
supplemental reply. Id. at 7. Ronaldo Inc. filed its
supplemental response on May 1, 2019. Doc. #317. The Coxes
filed their supplemental reply seven days later. Doc. #318.
15, 2019, Ronaldo Inc. moved to strike certain allegations
and arguments in the Coxes' supplemental reply or,
alternatively, for leave to file a supplemental sur-reply.
Doc. #319. The Court denied Ronaldo Inc.'s request to
strike but granted it leave to file a supplemental sur-reply.
Doc. #323. Ronaldo Inc. filed the supplemental sur-reply on
June 21, 2019. Doc. #324.
to the Register of Copyrights are authorized by 17 U.S.C.
§ 411(b), which provides:
(1) A certificate of registration satisfies the requirements
of this section and section 412, regardless of whether the
certificate contains any inaccurate information, unless--
(A) the inaccurate information was included on the
application for copyright registration with knowledge that it
was inaccurate; and
(B) the inaccuracy of the information, if known, would have
caused the Register of Copyrights to refuse registration.
(2) In any case in which inaccurate information described
under paragraph (1) is alleged, the court shall request the
Register of Copyrights to advise the court whether the
inaccurate information, if known, would have caused the
Register of Copyrights to refuse registration.
Court previously explained, § 411(b)(2) requires
in any case in which inaccurate information described under
paragraph (1) is alleged. Paragraph (1), in turn, refers to
information included in a copyright application that is (1)
inaccurate; (2) provided with knowledge of its inaccuracy;
and (3) would have resulted in a refusal of the copyright
application. Accordingly, referral is required when a movant,
in compliance with Rule 11, sets forth good-faith allegations
that specific information included in a copyright application
satisfies these three requirements.
Doc. #316 at 6 (quotation marks and alterations omitted).
and arguments are made in good faith under Rule 11 when (1)
they are not presented for any improper purpose; (2) they are
“warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous
argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law
or for establishing new law;” (3) factual allegations,
if any, “have evidentiary support” or are likely
to have evidentiary support after an opportunity for
investigation; and (4) denials of factual allegations, if
any, “are warranted on the evidence, or are reasonably
based on belief or a lack of information.” See
Fed. R. Civ. P.11(b).
their motion and supplemental reply,  the Coxes argue that Ronaldo
Inc.'s 2011 copyright application for its Power of Prayer
bracelet and 2013 copyright application for its Angelina
bracelet contained knowing material misrepresentations
because Ronaldo (1) was not the claimant or owner of either
of the works; (2) was not the author of either of the works;
and (3) “did not identify or exclude the substantial
portions of each bracelets that were in the public domain,
common, or previously published at the time the application
was filed.” Doc. #318 at 2.
understand the Coxes' contentions regarding Ronaldo
Inc.'s applications, it is necessary to trace the history
of the intellectual property rights to the two bracelets.
Ronnie Needham, while the owner of Gold Craft Associates,
Inc., created the Power of Prayer Bracelet in 1995, and the
Angelina Bracelet in 2000. There is no dispute that Gold Craft
obtained the intellectual property rights to the bracelets.
On July 9, 2008, Ronaldo Inc. was formed by, according to