More or Less (Inverse Ratio Rule and Copyright Infringement)
Los Angeles Lawyer
May 2011

The article discusses how the Ninth Circuit, unlike the Second Circuit, has refrained from discarding the inverse ratio rule in determining copyright infringement. The authors compare and contrast the law in the two jurisdictions. They explain that copyright infringement claims require the comparison of the similarity of works created by the defendant and plaintiff. One issue is the extent of the defendant's access to the plaintiff's work. Under the inverse ratio rule, if there was a high degree of access to the plaintiff's work, a finding of infringement may be based upon a lesser degree of similarity. The article provides history of the inverse ratio rule, with legal developments in the Ninth and Second Circuits. It concludes there is no logical role for the inverse ratio rule and that the Ninth Circuit should abandon it.