Gaylord v. United States, No. 11-5097 (Fed. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Gaylord created “The Column,” sculptures representing soldiers that are the centerpiece of the Korean War Veterans' Memorial on the National Mall. The Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the armistice, with a photograph of The Column, licensed from a photographer. USPS issued roughly 86.8 million of the stamps, sold retail goods with the image, and licensed the image to retailers, without seeking Gaylord's permission. In 2006, Gaylord sued under 28 U.S.C. 1498(b) for copyright infringement. The Federal Circuit held that Gaylord owned the copyright and that USPS was liable for infringement, but remanded for determination of damages. The Court of Federal Claims rejected a claim for a 10 percent royalty on about $30.2 million in revenue allegedly generated by the infringing use, as well as a claim for prejudgment interest, finding that neither 28 U.S.C. 1498(b), which waives sovereign immunity for copyright infringement, nor the copyright infringement statute, 17 U.S.C. 504, authorizes a royalty-based award for copyright infringement and that the proper measure of damages was the reasonable value of a license, between $1,500 and $5,000. The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded for determination of market value of the infringing use and award of prejudgment interest.