Ninth Circuit Distinguishes Grosso v. Miramax Film Corp. and Holds That Certain Claims for Breach of Implied Contract and Confidence Are Preempted by Federal Copyright Law

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Montz v. Pilgrim Films & Television, Inc., et al.

The Ninth Circuit last week issued its first published opinion regarding the scope of copyright preemption of implied contract and confidence claims since its controversial 2004 decision in Grosso v. Miramax Film Corp., 383 F.3d 965. In Montz v. Pilgrim Films & Television, Inc., et al., --- F.3d ----, 2010 WL 2197421, C.A.9 (Cal.), June 3, 2010, the Ninth Circuit held that claims alleging breach of implied contract and confidence based on the “pitch” of an idea in order to partner in a television show based on the idea—in contrast to the alleged promise to pay for the use of an idea addressed in Grosso—were preempted by the federal Copyright Act.

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