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Graham asks court to reconsider copyright ruling


PHILADELPHIA--The Graham Co. filed a motion seeking reconsideration of a federal court's recent order granting a limited new trial in its copyright infringement case against USI Holdings Corp., Graham said Thursday.

Last month, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia granted USI subsidiary USI MidAtlantic Inc. and a former Graham employee, who joined one of USI's prececessor firms in 1991, a new trial on damages and the issue of whether a three-year statute of limitations applies.

Philadelphia-based Graham alleged that over a 13-year period, USI and its predecessors generated 950 proposals containing some of Graham's copyrighted language for more than 350 clients.

In June, a Philadelphia jury found that USIM and the former employee violated copyright infringement laws and ordered USIM to pay Graham nearly $16.6 million and the former employee to pay nearly $2.3 million (BI, July 3).

"We believe that the jury got it right when it rejected the defendants' statute of limitations argument and we are confident a second jury will do the same," said William A. Graham IV, chief executive of the brokerage, in a statement. If Graham prevails in this limited new trial, it would be entitled to damages for the full period of infringement--more than 13 years. Otherwise, the brokerage's damages could be limited to a shorter period of time, the company said.

In order to seek clarification of a part of the court's November ruling, Graham said it filed a motion for reconsideration, requesting that the court amend its ruling to reflect that if the brokerage prevails in the new trial, it is entitled to the full amount of the first jury's $18.8 million in damage award.