With 'Raging Bull,' High Court Can Fix Laches Circuit Split

Law360, New York (October 1, 2013, 8:39 PM EDT) -- In deciding Tuesday to hear a case filed by the daughter of "Raging Bull" author Frank Petrella against Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court gave itself a great chance to clean up some widely inconsistent case law: the application of the doctrine of laches in copyright infringement cases.

Laches is an equitable defense that bars plaintiffs from suing after an unreasonable delay that prejudices the defendant. But the Copyright Act has its own three-year statute of limitations that restarts with each fresh infringement, and circuit courts haven't been particularly clear on how the two time limits mesh.

Last year, the Ninth...

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