Copyright Protection for Business Strategies?
Tulk v. Marshall University, 17-cv-03079 (S.D. W. Va. May 30, 2017)
By Fabiana Lauf
On May 30, 2017, Sherry A. Tulk filed a complaint for copyright infringement against a number of defendants, including Marshall University, West Virginia University and West Virginia State University Reed College of Media. According to her complaint, Tulk is a professional strategic plan consultant and entrepreneur. Her time is spent developing marketing strategy plans and other business processes to improve her and her clients’ start-up businesses. Tulk regularly files copyright registration applications and patent applications for all of her original work, including business strategies.
Tulk alleges that, after using a shared computer at a USPTO Public Resource Center at West Virginia University, she began to notice her work being used by West Virginia University, WVU Reed College of Media and Marshall University. Tulk claims that the universities accessed her business marketing strategy documents and committed copyright infringement by using the documents without her consent. She is seeking unspecified damages and attorney’s fees, as well as injunctive relief.