Trial news information from Harry McMullan, June 7, 2001
Judge West held oral argument today, and made two rulings, one in our favor, and one in Urantia Foundation's. He denied Urantia Foundation's motion for summary judgment as to the validity of their copyright in The Urantia Book, but upheld the validity of their trademarks on the words "Urantia" and "Urantian."
What this means is that a jury will be empanelled Tuesday morning to decide whether UF has a valid copyright, and whether Michael Foundation and I violated the Anti-Cybersquatting Act in registration of several Internet domains. Thus, the only narrowing of position is that Michael Foundation will not, as a result of Judge West's ruling today, be able to argue that UF's trademarks are invalid. The issue of the scope of those trademarks as to fair use and genericism will be submitted to the jury.
While we had hoped for a summary judgment ruling in our favor on the copyright, the Judge apparently viewed that because Michael Foundation had not filed independent motions for summary judgment, but only responded to UF's motions, that UF's were the only motions procedurally available for him to rule on.
Judge West showed every consideration to both parties. Even though we had hoped he would rule differently on the trademark validity issue, he is obviously a very fine judge. That's a good thing, since we expect to be spending a number of days with him beginning next Tuesday.
Every good wish,