Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MindGames, Inc. v. Western Publishing case brief

MindGames, Inc. v. Western Publishing case brief summary
218 F.3d 652 (7th Cir. 2000)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff appealed the grant of summary judgment by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in its action for breach of contract.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff brought a diversity suit for breach of contract, which was governed by Arkansas law because of a choice of law provision in the contract. The contract involved the licensing and sales by defendant of a board game invented by plaintiff. Plaintiff was not able to recover lost profits for defendant's alleged breach of its duty to promote the game.

DISCUSSION

  • Although there was caselaw in Arkansas that implied that it was a state that applied the "new business rule," the best prediction was that Arkansas would not follow that case. 
  • Instead, the court applied the rule that a plaintiff must prove damages. 
  • Here, the number of copies of the game that would have been sold but for the alleged breach could not be determined; therefore, plaintiff's claim for damages was excessively speculative. 
  • Plaintiff pointed to no evidence from which lost royalties could be calculated, even to a rough approximation.
CONCLUSION
Summary judgment affirmed; plaintiff's claim for lost royalties was too speculative to ground an award of damages for that loss, and plaintiff pointed to no evidence from which lost royalties could be calculated, even to a rough approximation.


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