American Airlines has dropped its lawsuit against the United States Copyright Office…at least for now.
Last month, I wrote about American Airlines’ lawsuit against the U.S. Copyright Office for failing to grant copyright protection to its logo.
The U.S. Supreme Court held in 1991 that copyright protection requires “a minimal degree of creativity”. Addressing the AA application, the U.S Copyright Office held that AA lacked even such a minimal degree of creativity:
The creative spark is utterly lacking or so trivial as to be virtually nonexistent…While the bar for creativity is low, it does exist and the Work cannot glide over even its low heights.
AA did not like this answer, viewing it as arbitrary and mean-spirited. Its lawsuit sought to compel the office to reconsider.
Responding to the litigation, the U.S. Copyright Office has agreed to “re-open” the AA application. In response, AA dropped its lawsuit.
As I predicted last month, AA will likely ultimately prevail. The Copyright Office could not have been clearer in its opinion that the AA logo lacked the elements necessary for copyright protection. The AA logo has not changed at all: the only thing that has changed is legal pressure from AA. Look for the U.S. Copyright Office to grant copyright protection to AA to shut the carrier up, not because it believes it was wrong in it is initial assessment.