89 F.3d 614 (9th Cir. 1996), 94-56593, Allen v. Academic Games League of America, Inc.

Docket Nº:94-56593.
Citation:89 F.3d 614
Party Name:96 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 5183, 96 Daily Journal D.A.R. 8379 Robert W. ALLEN, individually and d/b/a National Academic Games Project, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ACADEMIC GAMES LEAGUE OF AMERICA, INC., a corporation, R. Lawrence Liss, an individual, Neal Golden, an individual, James Davis, an individual, Stuart E. White, an individual, Jean Skomra, an in
Case Date:July 12, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 614

89 F.3d 614 (9th Cir. 1996)

96 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 5183,

96 Daily Journal D.A.R. 8379

Robert W. ALLEN, individually and d/b/a National Academic

Games Project, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

ACADEMIC GAMES LEAGUE OF AMERICA, INC., a corporation, R.

Lawrence Liss, an individual, Neal Golden, an individual,

James Davis, an individual, Stuart E. White, an individual,

Jean Skomra, an individual, and Does 1 through 25,

Defendants-Appellees.

No. 94-56593.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

July 12, 1996

Submitted April 9, 1996.[*]

Page 615

Donald G. Norris and Debra K. Butler, Burton & Norris, Pasadena, California, for plaintiff-appellant.

Charles H. Carpenter, Glendale, California, for defendants-appellees James Davis and Stuart White.

Joseph R. Zamora, Liebman, Reiner & Walsh, Los Angeles, California, for defendant-appellee Neal Golden.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Before: SCHROEDER and LEAVY, Circuit Judges, and TRIMBLE, [**] District Judge.

TRIMBLE, District Judge:

Due to a controversy over the use of academic games in a tournament setting, Robert W. Allen (Allen) individually and d/b/a National Academic Games Project (NAGP) filed suit against Academic Games Leagues of America, Inc., R. Lawrence Liss, Neal Golden, James Davis, Stuart E. White, and Jean Skomra (collectively referred to as AGLOA) alleging copyright, trademark, and tradename infringement. AGLOA filed a motion for summary judgment against Allen's claims for copyright infringement. The district court granted the motion and Allen timely appealed.

I. FACTS

Since the 1960's, Robert W. Allen has been involved in the development of academic games, including the games at issue in this appeal, A MAN CALLED MR. PRESIDENT, 1 EURO-CARD or WORLD CARD, 2 linguiSHTIK, 3 and PROPAGANDA. 4 Allen has been employed in various capacities for schools and school districts for the purpose of integrating the subject games, as well as other academic games, into classroom settings and student competitions. For several years, middle and high school level students from six states have participated in national tournaments that Allen conducted under the name of National Academic Games Project (NAGP), a sole proprietorship of Allen. The highest number of students attending a NAGP tournament was 900 in the mid 1980's and approximately 800 students attended the tournament in 1991.

In 1992, a non-profit corporation, Academic Games League of America (AGLOA) was formed to conduct a national tournament that used some of Allen's academic games as a culmination to local and regional student competitions that also used the subject games during the school year. Prior to forming AGLOA, the individual respondents had significant roles in the NAGP national tournaments for many years. However, while each of the individual respondents was principally involved in AGLOA activities, Allen was not included. In fact, AGLOA was formed due to a personality conflict that developed between Allen and the individual respondents and because of disagreements on how to conduct and develop the national tournament.

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Beginning in April, 1992, AGLOA conducted annual tournaments that coincided with Allen's NAGP national tournament. The tournaments occurred at the same time because of a need to wait...

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