Skip to main content
Copyright Blog

Update on Encyclopaedia Iranica Case

The Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation has filed an answer to Columbia University's latest amended complaint

Our last report on this case detailed the Second Amended Complaint that Columbia University ("Columbia") filed against the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation ("EIF") in early 2021. As detailed in our previous posts, Columbia's allegations in this litigation have centered on EIF's alleged attempts to usurp control of the prestigious Encyclopaedia Iranica project (the "Encyclopaedia") and the legacy, publication rights, trademarks, and numerous copyrights associated with it. In its Second Amended Complaint, Columbia made claims for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, interference with contractual relationships, false endorsement, false advertising, and unfair competition.

On March 2, 2022, EIF filed an Answer to the Second Amended Complaint. The Answer denies most of Columbia's allegations or asserts lack of sufficient knowledge to confirm or deny them. It does acknowledge the veracity of a number of simple factual matters about the history of the Encyclopaedia and the project's founder, Professor Ehsan Yarshater. The Answer also claims that any copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and interference with contractual relationships that has occurred in this matter has been done by Columbia, not EIF. Finally, EIF asserts a multitude of affirmative defenses.

It is worth noting that the parties recently stipulated to a Protective Order for confidential treatment of many of the documents produced by the discovery stage of this case.

We will provide further updates as they become available.