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College Sued for Copyright Infringement Relating to Credentialing Exams

National Federation of Professional Trainers v. Carrington College, 18-cv-47

An increasing number of schools across America offer certificate programs in a variety of subjects. A recent copyright lawsuit filed in Indiana underscores the implications of copyright law in the world of education.

Plaintiff, National Federation of Professional Trainers ("NFPT"), is a fitness organization that provides educational and certification programs for personal trainers. In connection with NFPT’s certification programs, the organization has developed Certified Personal Trainer (“CPT”) educational materials and credentialing exams. Defendant, Carrington College, is an accredited educational institution that offers certificate and associate degree programs.

In its complaint, NFPT notes that Carrington was authorized to administer NFPT’s proprietary CPT credentialing exam in connection with Carrington’s Physical Therapy Technology program. However, NFPT alleges that Carrington made and distributed unauthorized copies of the CPT exam in violation of NFPT’s instructions and NFPT’s exclusive rights of reproduction and distribution under the Copyright Act. Specifically, NFPT alleges that Carrington copied and distributed NFPT’s credentialing exams to students in advance of their accreditation exams without NFPT’s permission.

NFPT seeks an award of damages and an award of Carrington’s profits received from Carrington’s alleged unauthorized copying and distribution of NFPT’s credentialing exams. Carrington has responded with a Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim and lack of personal jurisdiction, which is pending before the court.