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Case Law Meeting: Lombardo v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises
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When: Friday, November 16th, 2018
8:15 AM - 9:30 AM
Where: Cabot Corporation
Two Seaport Lane
Suite 1300
Boston, Massachusetts  02210
United States
Contact: Valarie Rosen

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 BPLA Case Law Committee
Lombardo v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises

Friday, November 16th 2018
Networking at 8:15, discussion from 8:30-9:30 am.

Cabot Corporation
Two Seaport Lane, Suite 1300
Boston, MA 02210


Alex Garens, Day Pitney LLP

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Lombardo v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.

(Declaratory judgment granted SDNY, Sept. 2017; Affirmed 2nd Cir, July 2018)


This December theatre-goers may experience Dr. Seuss’s Whoville in a whole new light.  That is because this July the Second Circuit ruled in favor of a Matthew Lombardo, playwright of “Who’s Holiday!”, finding the subversive one-woman show about Cindy Lou Who to be a fair use parody that did not infringe the copyright of the underlying classic Dr. Seuss story, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”  In the play, the now grown-up Cindy Lou Who recounts her tragic life following the events of the book, using rhyming couplets and irreverent humor.  In December 2016 Lombardo sought declaratory judgment of noninfringement and prevailed at the district court level.  On appeal, the Second Circuit seemed to have little doubt that the play was effective parody under the four part fair use test, contributing to a series of cases that are shaping the  boundary of fair use, which is arguably expanding at least in the Second Circuit. The case also exemplifies the awkward positioning of parody works in the fair use analysis, the loosely defined legal standard for what constitutes effective parody, and the highly subjective nature of judges making such evaluation.


Please review the case documents prior to the meeting:
Lombardo v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. Second Circuit Affirmation
Lombardo v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. District Court Order

Contact for more information.

Committee Co Chairs

James Lampert, WilmerHale, Retired

Yvonne Lee, WilmerHale

N. Scott Pierce, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Valarie Rosen, Cabot Corporation
David Thibodeau, VLP Law Group


Boston Patent Law Association
One Batterymarch Park, Suite 101
Quincy, MA 02169
Phone: 617.507.5570

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