John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. v. McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, Slip Op., No. 12 C 1446 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 16, 2013) (Keys, Mag. J.).
Judge Keys granted in part defendant McDonnell Boehnen’s (“MBHB”) Fed. R. Civ. P. 37 motion to compel document production and interrogatory responses in this copyright infringement case involving the use of various copyrighted scientific articles. The Court previously warned that discovery could not be used as a fishing expedition, but allowed certain discovery regarding MBHB’s alleged use of the copyrighted articles in their law practice. MBHB asserts fair use, laches and estoppels as affirmative defenses.
The Court ordered production of budgetary information from plaintiff’s relevant group because the annual reports plaintiff already produced lacked information regarding operating costs, allocation of shared costs, and revenue expense drivers. Additionally, they were prepared by or with input from key witnesses.
The Court denied MBHB’s request to compel a response to an interrogatory seeking the basis for plaintiff’s statements in its complaint that plaintiff had reviewed public records and found “substantial evidence of unlicensed copying . . . .” Plaintiff had already withdrawn the claim, and making the claim could not be a basis for copyright misuse.