Quinn emanuel trial lawyers

Trademark, Trade Dress, Unfair Competition/False Advertising, and Publicity Rights Litigation
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We have represented some of the world’s best known trademark owners in false advertising, unfair competition, trademark and trade dress disputes. These include marks such as: Academy Awards, Benchmark Capital, Pennzoil, Green Bay Packers, Wal-Mart, UGG Boots, Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, Converse, ESPN, and Casino de Monte Carlo. Our expertise covers the range of false advertising and unfair competition claims under both federal and state laws. Often this requires the preparation of injunction motions literally overnight. We have extraordinary experience at trial in dealing with the impact on consumers of both brands and advertisements and work with an array of the top consumer marketing experts and psychologists to interpret the message conveyed either by a brand or an advertisement.

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Recent Representations  Print

  • Snap-on, Inc. v. Harbor Freight Tools USA, Inc. (E.D. Wisc. 2017) We represent Harbor Freight Tools in a suit by rival tool company, Snap-on. Harbor Freight defeated Snap-on’s motion for preliminary injunction, in which Judge Lynn Adelman found that Snap-on’s design patent infringement claim had no likelihood of success on the merits. The case continues with Harbor Freight having filed its own counter-claims of false advertising and inequitable conduct.
  • Amanda Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc. This January, the United States Supreme Court heard argument on a central question in the Blackhorse case: whether Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act’s prohibition against marks that “disparage” is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. On behalf of our client the Washington Redskins, we submitted an amicus brief in In Re Tam (the case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court) agreeing that section 2(a) is indeed unconstitutional. Meanwhile, the Blackhorse case has been stayed by the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, expected in June of this year.
  • Apple v. Samsung (Fed. Cir. 2015).  We represented Samsung in its high-profile litigation brought by Apple that, among other claims, alleged infringement and dilution of Apple's alleged trademark and trade dress rights in its iPhone and iPad products.  After discovery, Apple abandoned all of its iPhone infringement claims, but continued to pursue its iPhone trade dress dilution claims and iPad trade dress infringement and dilution claims.  At trial, we obtained a defense verdict in Samsung's favor on Apple's iPad trade dress claims.  On appeal, in a landmark Federal Circuit decision, we invalidated Apple's iPhone trade dresses, both registered and unregistered, in their entirety on functionality grounds.  786 F.3d 983 (Fed. Cir. 2015).

  • American Airlines, Inc. v. Despegar.com USA, Inc., et al. (S.D. Fla. 2016). We represented Despegar.com in a false advertising lawsuit brought by American Airlines.  Just before initiating suit, American withdrew its tickets from all of Despegar’s websites throughout the world.  In addition to mounting a vigorous defense against American’s claims, we brought an antitrust counterclaim on behalf of Despegar’s U.S.-based subsidiary relating to American’s anticompetitive air fare distribution scheme.  On the eve of depositions we obtained a favorable settlement agreement which paved the way for Despegar to resume selling American tickets.  

  • Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport v. Spirits Int’l B.V. (2d Cir. 2016). We represent a Russian government agency, Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport (FTE), which is seeking to establish that it is rightful owner of the world-famous Stolichnaya trademarks.  The district court dismissed FTE’s trademark infringement claims for lack of standing, ruling that the Russian Government’s assignment of its ownership interest in the trademarks to FTE violated Russian law and was therefore invalid. We obtained unanimous reversal in the Second Circuit.  The panel held that the district court violated principles of international comity and the act of state doctrine by even considering the validity of the Russian Government’s actions under Russian law. As a result, the panel reversed the district court and reinstated FTE’s trademark infringement claims.
  • Mattel, Inc. v. Excite Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2016).  We represented Mattel in a suit for infringement and dilution of Mattel's famous BARBIE trade dress.  Suit settled on favorable terms that included a permanent injunction
  • WildFireWeb, Inc. v. Tinder Inc. and IAC/Interactive Corp. (C.D. Cal. 2015). We represented Tinder, Inc. and IAC/InterActiveCorp in a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by a website designer called WildFireWeb, which had a prior federal registration in a “Tinder” trademark for one of its product offerings.  The plaintiff alleged substantial actual confusion resulting from Tinder’s use of its name for its hugely popular social media application, and sought an order requiring Tinder to change its name.  Despite the similarity between the parties’ marks and the evidence of alleged actual confusion, we obtained a highly favorable settlement for Tinder that has allowed Tinder to continue to own and use its valuable mark.
  • Exclaim Marketing, LLC v. DIRECTV, LLC (E.D. N.C. 2015). We represented DIRECTV in a case brought by Exclaim Marketing involving unfair and deceptive trade practices and cross-claims for trademark infringement.  After a seven-day jury trial and post-trial briefing, we not only obtained a complete defensive victory for DIRECTV, but also won substantial damages and a sweeping nationwide permanent injunction against Exclaim.
  • Hanginout, Inc. v. Google Inc. (S.D. Cal. 2014). We represented Google Inc. in a case against Hanginout, Inc. Hanginout claimed that Google’s use of HANGOUTS infringed Hanginout’s alleged common law HANGINOUT trademark. Hanginout moved for a preliminary injunction but was soundly defeated. The Court’s 34-page opinion found in Google’s favor on all of the preliminary injunction factors. The Court’s opinion also raised serious doubts that Hanginout even has common law trademark rights in its alleged mark or that there was any likelihood of confusion. The case ended when the plaintiff moved to dismiss its claims with prejudice.
  • Parts.com, LLC v. Google Inc. (S.D. Cal. 2014). We represented Google Inc. in a trademark case involving Parts.com LLC and obtained dismissal of all claims against Google at the pleading stage under the doctrine of laches.  The state law claims were also found to be barred by the Communications Decency Act’s immunity provision.  Parts.com had alleged that Google impermissibly used its trademark in its AdWords program constituting federal and state trademark infringement, dilution, and unfair competition
  • Chih Lin v. American Rena (Los Angeles Superior Court 2014). We defended American Rena International Corporation in a $25 million breach of contract and fraud lawsuit brought by a former sales representative, defeated the suit on summary judgment, and won summary judgment of liability on American Rena’s cross-complaint for trademark infringement. At the damages trial, we obtained an award of the former sales representative’s profits, together with American Rena’s attorney’s fees and costs. 
  • J. Christopher Burch, et al. v. Tory Burch, et al. (Del. Ch. 2013). In less than four months, we achieved a highly favorable settlement for Chris Burch and his new fashion brand, C. Wonder. After Mr. Burch was blocked from selling his interests in Tory Burch LLC—the successful label he co-founded—by Tory Burch and other directors of the Company, we brought claims for breach of fiduciary duties in Delaware Chancery Court before Chancellor Strine. We then pursued an aggressive litigation strategy by convincing Chancellor Strine to grant expedited discovery and proceedings, thereby forcing the company to face the prospect of a trial in six months, or else accept a settlement on unfavorable terms. The confidential settlement resulted in the dismissal of the company’s trade dress allegations, and enabled Mr. Burch both to consummate a sale of his interests in Tory Burch LLC in a very successful M&A transaction, and to operate C. Wonder free from the cloud of Ms. Burch’s interference. 
  • Apple v. Samsung (District Court Düsseldorf 2013). We obtained a full defense victory for Samsung against Apple in German proceedings regarding various smartphones, defeating alleged unfair competition claims. 
  • Jurin v. Google Inc. (E.D. Ca. 2012). We won a complete summary judgment for Google Inc., by which all remaining claims that decorative home trim supplier Daniel Jurin had asserted based on Google’s advertising programs and trademark policies were dismissed with prejudice. In a comprehensive opinion, the Court held that Google was not liable for trademark infringement (whether direct, contributory, or vicarious) or dilution. The summary judgment order was the ultimate victory in a string of successful motions for Google. At the pleading stage, Quinn Emanuel obtained dismissal of Jurin’s state law negligent and intentional interference with contractual relations and prospective economic advantage claims, as well as his unjust enrichment and breach of contract claims. Google also obtained its costs and fees under Rule 41(d) after Jurin re-filed his case in the Eastern District of California after having dismissed a similar complaint against Google in the Central District of California without prejudice. 
  • adidas America, Inc. and adidas AG v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (D. Oregon 2012). We represent Wolverine Worldwide, Inc., manufactures of casual footwear under well-known brands such as Merrill, Patagonia and Hush Puppies, in a suit brought by adidas America, Inc. in the U.S. District Court of Oregon alleging that certain styles of athletic shoes put out by Wolverine infringe and dilute adidas’ Three Stripe trademark. 
  • Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. (N.D. Cal., Fed. Cir. 2012). In a widely covered decision, the Court vacated a preliminary injunction issued against our client Samsung in the Apple-Samsung smartphone wars, holding that Apple failed to show causal nexus to harm that would justify a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. The opinion clarifies and strengthens the legal standard for finding causal nexus between patent infringement and the irreparable harm required to issue an injunction. For products like modern smartphones, which contain hundreds or thousands of patented features, this decision will make it more difficult for any patent holder to justify an injunction based on alleged infringement of a single feature patent. The Court also held that, under the proper claim construction, the Galaxy Nexus likely does not infringe Apple’s ‘604 patent. 
  • Google AdWords litigation. Since 2009 we have represented, and continue to represent, Google Inc. in a number of actions primarily alleging trademark infringement in connection with its offering advertisers the opportunity to bid on keywords that include third-parties’ trademarks to trigger advertising. In five of those cases—Ascentive LLC v. Google Inc. (E.D. Pa.); Dazzlesmile v. Epic Advertising (D. Utah); Flowbee Int’l, Inc. v. Google Inc. (S.D. Tx., transferred, on our motion, to N.D. Cal.); Groupion, LLC v. Groupon Inc. (N.D. Cal.); and Soaring Helmet Corp. v. Nanal, Inc. (W.D. Wa.)—the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims from Google; they simply walked away with no payment or settlement agreement from Google, usually after the first motion we filed in each case. In another case, Jurin v. Google Inc. (E.D. Cal.), we made several successful motions to dismiss, which narrowed the scope of the case, and then obtained summary judgment on all remaining claims. 
  • Ugglebo Clogs, LLC v. Deckers Outdoor Corporation (D. Minn. 2011). We represented Deckers Outdoor Corporation (“Deckers’) in a suit in which Ugglebo Clogs, a Swedish clog manufacturer, claimed that its designation UGGLEBO had priority over the Deckers’s UGG trademark and sought to enjoin the sale of UGG-brand boots nationwide; Deckers filed counterclaims alleging that Deckers had priority and Ugglebo Clogs was, in fact, the infringer. After successfully moving to amend its counterclaims to add a breach of contract claim that would have entitled Deckers to immediate injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees, the parties settled on terms favorable to Deckers. 
  • Mattel, Inc. v. MGA Entertainment, Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2010). On the trade dress claims in this wide-ranging action, we succeeded in obtaining summary judgment on behalf of Mattel in defense of MGA’s trade dress infringement and dilution claims concerning Mattel’s packaging for various Barbie and “Wee 3 Friends” dolls. The trial court agreed that MGA’s asserted trade dresses, including a registered trade dress, were not protectable on two independent grounds: they had not acquired secondary meaning and were functional. The trial court also agreed that even if the trade dresses were valid, there was no likelihood of confusion, and therefore no infringement. In addition, the trial court found the asserted packaging ineligible for protection under the dilution statute and found that Mattel’s accused packaging could not dilute MGA’s as a matter of law because it was too dissimilar. 
  • Deckers Outdoor Corporation v. Tom Romeo and Romeo & Juliette, Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2010) and Deckers Outdoor Corporation v. Emu Australia, Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2010). We represented Deckers in two disputes involving trademark rights associated with Deckers’s famous and popular UGG-brand boots. In the Romeo action, we brought claims against the manufacturer and seller of BearPaw boots—shoddy imitations of Deckers’s most popular boots, including the Classic, the Cardy, and the Sundance II—for trade dress infringement. In the Emu Australia action, we brought claims against Emu, a manufacturer and seller of pull-on sheepskin boots, for referring to its own boots as “ugg boots” on its website—a blatant attempt to “genericize” the UGG trademark and deprive Deckers of its long-standing U.S. trademark rights in the designs. The firm successfully moved to dismiss Romeo & Juliette’s counterclaims, and successfully the defendants in both actions to voluntarily withdraw multiple affirmative defenses. Both cases thereafter settled on favorable terms. 
  • Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. v. The Upper Deck Company (S.D.N.Y. 2010). We represented The Upper Deck Company (“Upper Deck”) in a lawsuit brought by Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. (“MLBP”) in a trademark dispute over baseball trading cards. MLBP sought a TRO against Upper Deck, alleging that Upper Deck infringed MLBP’s trademarks and trade dress, and breached its contract with MLBP, by selling certain baseball card sets in early 2010 after a license between the parties had expired. Specifically, MLBP sought an injunction barring the sale of three sets of baseball cards that had already been released to Upper Deck distributors. Quinn Emanuel opposed the TRO, arguing that Upper Deck’s use of baseball players in uniform was a fair use of MLBP’s trademarks and trade dress in baseball cards, and that MLBP had not established irreparable injury, given that a license previously existed between the parties. After reviewing Quinn Emanuel’s briefing, MLBP’s motion for a TRO was denied by Judge Sweet, and Upper Deck was able to continue selling its already-released baseball trading sets unencumbered. The parties settled the action shortly after Judge Sweet’s denial of the TRO. 
  • Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. Hyundai Motor America (S.D.N.Y 2010). We represented Hyundai Motor America (“Hyundai”) in a dispute concerning the use of a basketball bearing a parodic design of Louis Vuitton’s “LV” design trademark in a television commercial for the 2010 Hyundai Sonata. While Louis Vuitton alleged in its complaint that this use constitutes trademark infringement, the use of the LV design was less than one second long and couched in a 30-second commercial that portrayed humorous combinations of ordinary activities with luxury experiences. Hyundai’s defenses included important discussions of parody, satire, trademark fair use and the First Amendment and led to a favorable settlement agreement for Hyundai. 
  • Miller International, Inc. v. Clinch Gear, Inc. et al. (D. Colo. 2010). We represented Collective Brands Inc. in a dispute between two trademarks: CINCH and CLINCH GEAR. Miller is the owner of CINCH, a trademark used in association with jeans, button-down shirts and marketed exclusively toward rodeo and western-wear enthusiasts. Collective Brands is the owner of CLINCH GEAR, a trademark used in association with mixed-martial arts (“MMA”), grappling, and wrestling performance gear, and marketed exclusively toward MMA athletes and enthusiasts. In defending Collective Brands, we first successfully moved the Court to dismiss six of Miller’s claims, including fraud, conspiracy, and alter-ego liability. Next, we convinced the Court that Miller’s motion for a preliminary injunction was premature, and as a result, the Court instructed Miller to withdraw its motion. The parties then settled on terms favorable to Collective Brands. 
  • Coty Inc. v. Harvey P. Alstodt; Bruce C. Kowalsky; Diversified Beauty Products (f/k/a MBA Beauty, Inc.); and Harvey P. Alstodt Associates, Inc. (N.Y. State Supreme Court 2010). We obtained a TRO against two former executives of client Coty, Inc., stopping them from violating their covenant not to compete by marketing a nail polish line which, “coincidentally,” consisted of many colors identical to Coty’s line. 
  • Fifth Avenue of Long Island Realty Associates v. Caruso Management Company, Ltd. (E.D.N.Y. 2010). After a six-day bench trial, we obtained a complete defense victory for Caruso Management Company, Ltd. in a trademark infringement action brought in the Eastern District of New York. The Court not only found that Caruso did not infringe or dilute any of Plaintiff’s trademarks, but granted Caruso’s counterclaim and canceled Plaintiff’s federal registration of the AMERICANA mark. This lawsuit, which sought disgorgement of profits and a permanent injunction preventing Caruso from using the name THE AMERICANA AT BRAND for its town center development in Glendale, California, was critically important to Caruso since the Plaintiff strategically filed suit a few short months before Caurso’s town center was scheduled to open to the public, and after a significant amount of time and money had been invested in promoting THE AMERICANA AT BRAND name throughout the Los Angeles area. 
  • Rosetta Stone Ltd. v. Google Inc. (E.D. Va. 2010, 4th Cir. 2012). At the pleading stage, Quinn Emanuel obtained dismissal of Rosetta Stone’s false endorsement claim under 15 U.S.C. 1125(a) and its state law business conspiracy and unjust enrichment claims. We then won a complete summary judgment for Google Inc., by which all remaining claims that language software provider Rosetta Stone had asserted based on Google’s advertising programs and trademark policies were dismissed with prejudice. In a lengthy opinion, the Court held that Google was not liable for trademark infringement (whether direct, contributory, or vicarious) or dilution. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit upheld the ruling on vicarious infringement and dismissal of the unjust enrichment claims, agreed with our legal analysis of the dilution claim, and found disputed issues of fact on the direct and contributory infringement claims and remanded those issues. We then moved in limine to lay the grounds for a new summary judgment motion.  Following argument on that motion, the case quickly resolved.  
  • Dallas Cowboys Football Club and NFL Properties v. America’s Team Properties (N.D. Tex. 2009). We obtained summary judgment for clients the Dallas Cowboys Football Club and NFL Properties LLC in a dispute concerning ownership of the trademark AMERICA’S TEAM in federal district court in Dallas, Texas. The Defendant in the case, a Minnesota-based company, claimed that it owned the rights to the famous trademark because it had obtained a federal registration in 1990. We were tasked with proving that the Cowboys rights in “America’s Team” were superior to those of Defendant, notwithstanding that the Cowboys did not own a federal trademark registration for the mark. In a forty-page decision the Court granted the Cowboys and NFL Properties summary judgment on all claims, finding that they had proven federal and common law trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution and that Defendant had committed fraud on the on the United States Patent and Trademark Office. America’s Team—a nickname understandably despised by rivals of the Dallas Cowboys—remains today, as it has been for decades, an enduring part of the Cowboys’ great legacy. 
  • George V Restauration S.A. and Creative Designs for Restaurants and Bars, Ltd. v. Little Rest Twelve, Inc. (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept.). We represented George V and Creative Designs, owners of the world-famous (and federally-registered) BUDDHA-BAR trademark and proprietary restaurant concept in a case brought against their former licensee for trademark infringement and dilution regarding their unauthorized use of the BUDDHA BAR trademark and concept in connection with a Manhattan restaurant. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department, reversed the trial court’s denial of our clients’ motion for preliminary injunction and held that the small disclaimer placed on defendant’s website was not sufficient to dispel likely consumer confusion. 
  • adidas America, Inc. v. Payless ShoeSource, Inc. (9th Cir. 2009). We represented Payless ShoeSource, Inc. on the appeal to the Ninth Circuit of a jury verdict rendered against it in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon finding that Payless infringed adidas’ trademark and trade dress and awarding adidas over $66 million dollars in damages. On appeal, Payless argued that the district court erred by, inter alia, allowing the jury to hear consumer survey evidence that tested allegedly infringing shoes put out by manufacturers other than Payless, by permitting monetary damages for post sale confusion absent a showing of any actual injury and based upon a reasonable royalty theory and by failing to dismiss adidas’ trademark dilution claims because Payless used the allegedly infringing stripes as decoration. Although the case settled before the argument, we helped Payless reduce the largest trademark verdict in history. 
  • Pro-Football, Inc. v. Harjo (U.S. Supreme Court 2009). In defending the longrunning challenge by six Native American petitioners to the Washington Redskins’ trademark registrations, we employed the infrequently used “de novo” appeal to the D.C. District Court to overturn an adverse decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The decision was appealed by the Native Americans to the D.C. Circuit, which found no abuse of discretion and affirmed the grant of summary judgment in all respects. The petitioners next filed a petition of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the Circuit Courts are split as to whether laches is available as a defense to the cancellation of an allegedly disparaging trademark. Quinn Emanuel opposed the petition, arguing that no such split existed. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition in November 2009, thus ending the case. It was a complete win for Quinn Emanuel’s clients Pro-Football and the Washington Redskins. 
  • PlayShare PLC v. Societe des Bains de Mer et du Cerle des Estrangers a Monaco (S.D.N.Y. 2008). We represented Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers à Monaco (“SBM”), the founder and manager of Monaco’s five casinos, including the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo, in an action against PlayShare, an online casino gaming operating operator in the District Court for the Southern District of New York. SBM alleged that the PlayShare’s Grand Monaco Casino website and use of at least 100 domain names employing the terms “Monaco,” “Monaco Casino,” or variations thereof in connection with the online casino website constitutes unfair competition, trademark infringement, and cybersquatting. Our representation led to a quick and favorable settlement agreement for SBM. 
  • Yuri Kucklachev v. Mark Gelfman (E.D.N.Y. 2008). We represented Ticketmaster L.L.C (“Ticketmaster”) in an action for trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition, and violations of the right of publicity, brought by Plaintiffs, who purport to be world famous clowns, brought this action against the Gelfman Defendants, the plaintiff’s former U.S. promoter. The complaint alleges that in 2007, after the Plaintiffs returned to Russia after a successful U.S. tour their show entitled “Moscow Cats Theatre,” the Gelfman defendants misappropriated the Plaintiff’s show, including its title and copyrighted cat-tricks, conducting performances in the United States without Plaintiffs’ consent. Ticketmaster was among a set of named Defendants who unknowingly sold tickets to the allegedly infringing show. Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction prohibiting all of the Defendants from continuing to sell tickets to the allegedly infringing show. On the strength of the briefing submitted by Quinn Emanuel on behalf of Ticketmaster, the Court denied Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief against Ticketmaster and Defendant Onlineseats.com (who had not yet appeared in the action, but was deemed to be similarly situated to Ticketmaster) on the grounds that that Plaintiffs failure to put Ticketmaster on notice of the alleged infringement for well over a year precluded the possibility of injunctive relief. An injunction did issue, however, against all of the other appearing Defendants. 
  • Argus Research v. Argus Media (D. Conn. 2008). We were retained by the board of an English publishing company when trademark and fraud claims filed by a U.S. equity research firm proved intractable. With our client’s regular IP counsel, we conducted depositions to support a successful multi-faceted motion gutting all but a single claim, and moved in limine to strike all three of the plaintiff’s experts. The case settled shortly thereafter with a global co-existence agreement and no payment by our client. 
  • CMG Worldwide v. The Upper Deck Company (S.D. Ind. 2008). We defended Upper Deck in a suit alleging the use of various images and signatures of deceased baseball players that had previously been licensed to Upper Deck but were then exclusively licensed to Topps. We were hired after a TRO issued enjoining our client’s usage of certain player images in its entire line of 2008 trading cards. We succeeded in overturning the TRO several days later, persuaded the court to transfer the case from Indiana to New York, and moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, which motion is pending. 
  • The Romantics v. Activision Publishing, 532 F. Supp. 2d 884 (E.D. Mich. 2008). We defeated a lawsuit seeking to enjoin Activision’s sales of its phenomenally popular “Guitar Hero” videogame, brought by members of the ‘80s rock band “The Romantics,” who asserted that the use of their signature song “What I Like About You” in the game violated their rights of publicity and constituted an implied endorsement. We later secured a complete dismissal on the merits, effectively validating the business model underpinning the billion-dollar “Guitar Hero” franchise. See 574 F. Supp. 2d 758. 
  • Gillette v. Dorco (D. Mass. 2008). Representing Pace Shave and various Dorco entities as defendants, we successfully obtained an early, cost-effective global settlement in a razor-industry litigation involving eleven patents spanning over 250 claims, as well as numerous assertions of trademark and trade dress. 
  • Bouchat v. Bon-Ton Department Stores (4th Cir. 2007). In the first phase of this case, we defended the NFL and Baltimore Ravens against claims brought by an artist regarding the Raven’s helmet logo. After the NFL and Ravens – represented by a different firm – lost on liability, we tried the damages case. We obtained a verdict of no damages and persuaded the jury that the logo did not derive any revenue-generating activity and that our clients’ large revenues were solely the result of the inherent power of the NFL brand and the sport itself. The verdict was affirmed by the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court denied cert. Later, we prevailed on behalf of hundreds of licensees in separate actions on the basis of claim preclusion principles, again through the 4th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. 
  • Applied Information Sciences v. eBay Inc. (C.D. Cal., 9th Cir. 2007). We obtained summary judgment for eBay against trademark infringement and unfair competition claims related to its use of the terms “Smart Search” as the label for a hyperlink on its Web site home page. The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in eBay’s favor. 511 F.3d 966 (9th Cir. 2007). 
  • Omicron Capital v. Omicron Capital (S.D.N.Y. 2006). We obtained summary judgment dismissing all trademark infringement and unfair competition claims asserted against Omicron Capital, a St. Louis-based mortgage finance company, by a New York hedge fund with the identical name and trademark. The opinion provides a comprehensive tutorial on the burdens of proof in trademark litigation and was featured on the front-page of the New York Law Journal. See Omicron Capital LLC v. Omicron Capital LLC, 433 F. Supp. 2d 382 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). 
  • The Franklin Mint v. Lord Simon Cairns, The Diana, the Princess of Wales, Memorial Fund (C.D. Cal. 2006). We represented the Board of Trustees of a charitable fund established to honor the memory of Princess Diana in a $400 million malicious prosecution suit filed in California against the Fund’s prior outside counsel and the Trustees. The suit alleged that infringement and right-of-publicity claims unsuccessfully pursued in 1998 in an effort to stop The Franklin Mint from marketing dolls and plates commemorating the deceased Princess were frivolous. All claims against the Fund’s clients, who included Princess Diana’s sister and the Bishop of London, were withdrawn prior to trial in return for a commitment by the Fund and the Mint to carry out a mutually-agreed program of charitable giving to worthwhile causes. 
  • Helio LLC v. Palm, Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2006). We brought holiday good cheer to Palm, winning a dismissal with prejudice in a trademark and false advertising suit brought two days before Christmas. 
  • Shell Oil v. Shell-oil.biz and Shell Oil v. Shell-oil.org (E.D. Va. 2006). We represented Shell Oil in two trademark infringement anti-dilution and anticybersquatting cases against foreign entities operating infringing Web sites. Such suit resulted in a permanent injunction against the defendants and a transfer of the defendants’ illegal domain names to Shell. 
  • H&R Block v. Intuit (E.D. Mo. 2006). In a false advertising and trademark infringement suit brought by its chief competitor, H&R Block, we represented Intuit in defeating efforts to secure injunctive relief and obtaining a favorable settlement. 
  • Intuit v. H&R Block (N.D. Cal. 2006). We also represented Intuit in a copyright infringement, trademark infringement and false advertising suit against H&R Block arising out of Block’s arising of a knock-off television advertisement. The case settled favorably, with the offending television advertisement being withdrawn. 
  • Hawaii-Pacific Apparel Group, Inc. v. Cleveland Browns Football Co. (S.D.N.Y. 2006). In a dispute that hounded the Cleveland Browns for over a decade, the court granted the Browns’ and NFL’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the Browns have priority of use over an apparel company in the trademark DAWG POUND. The decision recounted the history of the “Dawg Pound,” which today primarily refers to the rowdy area of the bleachers and the seasoned fans who sit there (often in dog masks), but which was originally used to describe the Browns’ defensive linesmen, who would bark and growl at their adversaries. 
  • Funky Films, Inc. v. Time Warner Entertainment Co., 462 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2006). On behalf of Time Warner Entertainment and HBO, we won a summary judgment dismissal of copyright and trademark infringement claims valued in excess of $50 million challenging the originality of the popular hit series “Six Feet Under.” Our win was later affirmed by the Ninth Circuit in an oft-cited ruling articulating the application of copyright law to television and film properties. 
  • Playmakers LLC v. ESPN (9th Cir. 2006). We won a reverse-confusion appeal for ESPN against a claim that a sports agency with a federal registration for PLAYMAKERS had priority over ESPN’s use of “Playmakers” for its popular television program. 
  • C.V. Starr & Co. v. American International Group (S.D.N.Y. 2006). We defeated a motion to dismiss our client AIG’s counterclaim for trademark infringement concerning the ownership of the CV Starr brand in an action filed by the company controlled by former AIG head, Hank Greenberg. The case subsequently settled. 
  • Harlan v. Agenjca Wydawniczo-Reklamowa “Wprost” Sp.Zo.o (D.S.C. 2006). Representing Wprost, a Polish national news magazine akin to Time or Newsweek, against claims by the daughter of a prominent Polish politician that facts published about her father’s involvement in a controversial stock purchase were false. The case was dismissed when it was shown that the court could not exercise personal jurisdiction over Wprost, and that the magazine’s website, written almost entirely in Polish, was not targeting readers in South Carolina, where the suit was brought. 
  • Nike v. Adidas (D. Or. 2006). After Adidas prevailed on claims in Europe that Nike’s use of two stripes on apparel infringed Adidas’s three-stripe trademark, we filed a complaint on Nike’s behalf in the District Court of Oregon seeking a declaration that Nike was entitled to use two stripes and other decorative striping on apparel and footwear in the United States. When we positioned the case to put the scope of Adidas’s three-stripe mark at issue, Adidas conceded the case and filed a broad covenant not to sue Nike in the United States. 
  • SightSound Technologies v. Napster (D. Del., TTAB 2006). In litigation before the District of Delaware and TTAB involving the intersection of trademark and bankruptcy law, we defeated assignment-in-gross challenges asserted against the validity of Napster’s federal registrations for, and its ownership rights to, the NAPSTER marks that had been acquired in Chapter 11 proceedings. 
  • LowerMyBills v. NexTag (C.D. Cal. 2005). We represented NexTag in a case involving allegations of trademark and copyright infringement in online advertisements. The case settled favorably to NexTag. 
  • David Kramer v. Intuit, 121 Cal. App. 4th 574 (2004). We prevailed on behalf of Intuit in an unfair competition and false advertising case that resulted in the first California appellate decision addressing the subject of illegal rebates under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act. 
  • Mattel v. BBurago S.p.A. (N.D. Ill., C.D. Cal. 2004). We obtained the dismissal with prejudice of a suit brought against Mattel by BBurago in the Northern District of Illinois alleging trade dress infringement of its scale die-cast replica cars and false advertising. In addition, in actions in the Central District of California and Italy involving FERRARI patent, trademark and trade dress rights, we obtained a final judgment on behalf of Mattel that included a worldwide injunction against infringement and payment of monetary damages in a confidential amount. 
  • Delphi Consulting v. Borland (N.D. Cal. 2004). We successfully defended Borland against a suit asserting Lanham Act and related claims in connection with computer programming software. After winning summary judgment on key aspects of the plaintiff’s case and obtaining favorable in limine rulings, including an order precluding the plaintiff’s damages expert from testifying on Daubert and other grounds, we settled the case on terms favorable to our client. 
  • Century 21 Real Estate v. Lending Tree (D.N.J., D. Colo. 2003, 2005). We represented Lending Tree in New Jersey and Colorado suits brought by archrivals Cendant and Re-Max challenging Lending Tree’s advertising of its innovative online real estate broker referral network as false and deceptive. We ultimately persuaded the Third Circuit to adopt a form of “nominative use” doctrine as a defense in the context of trademark and advertising claims brought under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. See 425 F.3d 211 (3d Cir. 2005). 
  • International Bancorp, LLC v. Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Étrangers à Monaco (4th Cir. 2003). On behalf of Monaco’s resort arm, we won an injunction against an online gambling site trading on the equity of Monaco’s famous Casino de Monte Carlo and an affirmance by the 4th Circuit. 
  • Mattel v. Artin (C.D. Cal. 2002). On behalf of Mattel, we obtained a multi-million dollar verdict, permanent injunction and award of attorneys’ fees in a trade dress infringement action involving the HOT WHEELS packaging trade dress. 

In addition to litigation before federal courts, we also have represented clients in other adversarial contexts. Recent examples include the following:

  • On behalf of the Producers Guild of America, in 2011 we obtained the first-ever “No Action” letter from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice respecting a certification mark. Because actors, financiers, lawyers and others often request “producer” credits for motion pictures, the PGA wanted to find a way to inform the public who has actually performed a producer’s duties with respect to any given motion picture. It therefore proposed to perform that investigation and allow the actual producers to use its certification mark with their names in the credits. The PGA is not, however, a bargaining unit and could not compel the motion picture studios to use the mark and, believing that “no good deed goes unpunished,” the studios were reluctant to include the certification mark out of antitrust concerns. We persuaded the Antitrust Division that the use of the certification would benefit competition and most major studios have now agreed to include the PGA’s certification mark in credits and advertising. 
  • On behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, we are challenging a “drafter’s error” affecting the Lanham Act in a proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. When Congress amended Section 43(c), 15 U.S.C. Section 1125(c), to provide that the federal registration of a mark would provide an absolute defense to any claim that the registered mark dilutes a mark that is either unregistered or registered only under state law, the amendment was somehow repunctuated during the process of enactment. As a consequence, Section 43(c)(6)(A)(ii) now purports to make registration a defense to a claim that a newly registered mark dilutes famous marks registered years ago. We have pointed to the change in punctuation that occurred, the understanding of the bill’s drafters that such claims would remain viable, and inconsistencies between the amendment and other sections of the Lanham Act.

 

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