Business Studies Case Study on ProCD, INC. v. ZEIDENBERG


United States District Court

Seventh Circuit, 1996

86 F.3d 1447

Facts Pertaining to the Case.

Numerous ProCD trades in a form of database known as SelectPhone based on the CD-ROM discs. Further, the Shrinkwrap license name is derived from the point that software vendor’s suites are protected in a malleable or cellophane Shrinkwrap (86 F.3d 1447, 7th Cir.1996). Notably, various traders have developed licenses that are more effective immediately the consumer tears the cover of the package. Conversely, buyers utilize the information through the assistance of an application sequencer created by the ProCD.

The cost of the catalogue in a SelectPhone is greater than $10 million as it involves assembling and costly to protect the recent files, hence, becomes more important to different consumers. Moreover, the amalgamation of labels, addresses, and sic encryptions provides an opportunity for the producers to create a list of potential clients (86 F.3d 1447, 7th Cir.1996). Further, manufacturers including vendors pay greater fees to specified intermediaries for the mailing lists, however, ProCD accords a relatively cheaper substitute.

Matthew Zeidenberg acquired a utility suite of a SelectPhone during the year 1994 from a vendor outlet in the city of Madison ignoring the license later to resell the data in a SelectPhone database through the Mountain Web Services. Conversely, ProCD filed a petition pursuing the court to implement an injunction against the spread of the information that exceeds the rights stipulated in the licenses. However, the district court upheld the license incompetent since the terms are not incorporated on the cover of the package (86 F.3d 1447, 7th Cir.1996). Additionally, the juries concluded that both the second and third permits are not distinct as the terms might not have been similar and the buyer cannot be confined by the conditions that were secret during the time of acquisition.


Did the court find Matthew liable for violating the copyright act?

Does the Shrinkwrap contract binds the vender and consumer?

Did the court’s ruling conform to the Patent Act?

Disagreements Pertaining to the Case.

The district court’s decision of upholding the case is based on two reasons: that the parties involved in the case are not binding since the licenses are found within the package other than being stipulated on the software’s cover. Significantly, the federal act prevents the enforcement even when the license s are contract centered (86 F.3d 1447, 7th Cir.1996). However, disagreements to final decision by the judges is due to the fact that Shrinkwrap contracts are implementable except when the requirements are stipulated on the idea that it is pertinent to the contract as a whole.

The Court’s Decision.

The district court did not find Matthew Zeidenberg liable of violating the copyright act as stated in the case by the plaintiff ProCD since the jury determined that the license was ineffectual since the license conditions are printed within the software and not on the cover, hence, not binding (86 F.3d 1447, 7th Cir.1996).

Reasons for Juries’ Decision

No. The court held to their decision since they found that the licenses were incompetent as their terms and conditions did not appear on the packages cover. Additionally, another factor that led to upholding of the case is due to the fact that the previous licenses are not distinct with the initial one since a consumer cannot be confined to the contract that was not available during acquisition (86 F.3d 1447, 7th Cir.1996). Consequently, the court argues that showcasing the software commodity on the shop makes it a provision that is accepted by the customer through the provision of the required price.



ProCD, INCORPORATED v. ZEIDENBERG, 86 F.3d 1447 (7th. Cir. 1996) (LOISLAW). (2018). Retrieved 10 April 2018, from