A copyright shakedown outfit lead by M. Keith Lipscomb and his German counterparts recently filed 99 Bittorent cases “on behalf” of Good Man Productions, Inc. Those lawsuits were filed in eight districts in November-December 2014, and the plaintiff alleged infringement of a direct-to-DVD movie Good Man featuring Steven Seagal.
On 1/14/2015 it came to our attention that querying Good Man Productions, Inc. information on the web portal of California Secretary of State revealed that this entity was dissolved. As soon as I reported it, the company suddenly re-appeared, albeit with a different entity number.
Naturally, we were skeptical about the fact that registering a new corporation with the same name would solve a potentially fatal problem.
Can a dissolved copyright holder corporation continue litigating as a plaintiff in infringement cases?
A CA corporation filed dozens of copyright infringement lawsuits in Nov-Dec 2014. On 12/22/2014 it was voluntarily dissolved. Nonetheless, the cases continue, and the courts were not notified.
Are any laws or regulations broken here?
After those who actually steer the litigation made aware of publicity in this matter, they re-registered this corporation on 1/16/2015. The name and the agent remained the same, yet the entity number is different.
So the second question: did this move “cure” the issue? Is it a matter of interest for the tax authorities?
One of the answers from an experienced business attorney from California, Frank Chen, confirmed what we suspected (emphasis is mine):
Nope. I assume the corporation was voluntarily dissolved (as opposed to being suspended or involuntarily dissolved through a court decree). A suspended corporation can be revived by paying back taxes, penalties and interest, and filing back tax returns. However, a dissolved corporation cannot be revived. A dissolved corporation would no longer have standing to pursue a lawsuit. Re-registration creates a new corporation, but even if the name and agent for service of process are the same, the entity is not the same entity which was the plaintiff in the lawsuit. The move does not “cure” the issue.