(the "September Order"), granting partial summary judgment to the defendants, Charlene Products, Inc. ("Charlene") and Peter Yau, Charlene's [some officer]. For the following reasons, the motion is granted and the September Order is vacated.
Pivot Point is an Illinois Corporation engaged in the business of hair styling, design education and the sale of products that relate to that business. One of Pivot Point's products is the "Mara Sculpture," a plastic female mannequin head. The Mara Sculpture is sold by Pivot Point as a teaching aid for beauty schools and salons. The Mara Sculpture was sculpted by an artist and then copyrighted as a bareheaded human head with no make-up or hair. The parties are in dispute over the uses of the Mara Sculpture. The plaintiffs claim that the Mara Sculpture is the equivalent of what might be called a hair stand. The sculptures are mass produced. Hair of various lengths and colors is implanted in the heads and then the entire product is sold to beauty shops for training hairstylists. The defendants claim that in addition to being a hairstand, the Mara Sculpture is used for displaying makeup, jewelry, and other ornamentation.
On November 29, 1990, Pivot Point filed a complaint against Charlene Products, Inc., an Illinois corporation in the business of hair styling and design education and the sale of products related to that business, ("CPI"), and Peter Yau, the President of CPI. Pivot Point alleges that CPI and Yau infringed upon Pivot Point's copyright on the Mara Sculpture by copying it and then marketing and displaying it as a slightly smaller mannequin head, commonly known as "Lisa." Pivot Point's Complaint contains two counts. Count I alleges copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. §§ 106 and 602. Count II alleges misappropriation. In the September Order, the previous district court granted defendants CPI and Yau summary judgment on Count I. Pivot Point moves for reconsideration of that decision.
A. The Timeliness of Service of Plaintiff's Motion
Plaintiffs initially moved for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under that rule, a party seeking reconsideration of a final or appealable judgment has 10 days from the judgment in which to serve the opposing party.
Here plaintiff effected service within 11 days, missing proper service by less than one hour and fifteen minutes.
Having failed to properly serve the defendants pursuant to Rule 59(e), plaintiff now claims that its motion to reconsider is properly made pursuant to Rule 54(b). Under Rule 54(b) a court may reconsider any order not certified for appeal when the order in question did not resolve all the claims of all the parties in the action. Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b).
Motions to reconsider are governed by Rule 54(b) when such motions are filed after an interlocutory order and before the entry of a "final judgment." See Gridley v. Cleveland Pneumatic Co., 127 F.R.D. 102, 103 (M.D. Pa. 1989). Motions to reconsider made after a final judgment or after a trial are governed by Rules 59(e) and 60(b). See id. The timeliness of plaintiff's motion to reconsider turns on whether the September 11, 1992 order by Judge Parsons granting partial summary judgment was a final judgment. If the order was final, the motion to reconsider is governed by Rule 59(e) and is thus untimely. In contrast, if the September 11 order was not a final judgment, then the motion is governed by Rule 54(b). Rule 54(b) motions to reconsider do not have express service or filing requirements. Such motions may be brought within a reasonable period after an interlocutory order during the pendency of the litigation. See A. Hollow Metal Warehouse, Inc. v. U.S. Fidelity and Guarantee Co., 700 F. Supp. 410, 411-12 (N.D. Ill. 1988) (stating that a motion to reconsider an interlocutory order has no time constraints under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure).
Judgment is defined for the purposes of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in Rule 54(a). That rules says:
"Judgment" as used in these rules includes a decree and any order from which an appeal lies. A judgment shall not contain a recital of pleadings, the report of a master, or the record of prior proceedings.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(a) (emphasis added). At issue is whether the September Order denying injunctive relief was appealable.
Here, Pivot Point sought relief in two counts, Count I of the complaint alleges copyright infringement, Count II of the complaint alleges misappropriation.
The order granted summary judgment on the first of those counts. Defendants maintain that the partial summary judgment order is appealable under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a). That section, in relevant part, says:
The courts of appeals shall have jurisdiction of appeals from: