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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Trademarks Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Trademarks Legal News

Headline Trademarks Legal News from LexisNexis®


'DJ Logic' Trademark Suit Denied Certiorari By U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 2 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a DJ's petition for certiorari over whether a likelihood of confusion determination in a trademark suit should be made by a court or a jury, letting stand a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that found no evidence of confusion (Lee Jason Kibler v. Robert Bryson Hall II, et al., No. 16-1365, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 4841).

High Court Won't Hear Trademark Dilution Suit Over Parody Louis Vuitton Handbags
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. (LV) won't have the opportunity to present arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court that a parody tote bag maker violated the Trademark Dilution Revision Act (TDRA); the high court denied the luxury goods maker's petition for certiorari in its Oct. 2 order list (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag Inc., No. 17-72, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 5936).

National Urban League Prevails In Trademark Dispute With Disaffiliate
DALLAS - Continued use by the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas Inc. (ULGD) of the "Urban League" trademark on social media and online after the National Union League Inc. (NUL) stripped ULGD of its affiliate status represents infringement, a Texas federal judge ruled Sept. 29 (National Urban League Inc. v. Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas Inc., No. 15-3617, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160608).

11th Circuit Reverses Rejection Of Service Mark Infringement Claim
ATLANTA - A Georgia federal judge's grant of summary judgment on behalf of a service mark infringement defendant was reversed and remanded Oct. 3 by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which deemed controlling a 1975 case that extended protection for federally registered service marks to goods, beyond the area of registration listed in a service mark certificate (Savannah College of Art and Design v. Sportswear Inc., No. 15-13830, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19168).

California Magistrate Judge OKs Service By Publication In Copyright, Patent Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Citing an inability by a copyright, patent and trade dress infringement plaintiff to serve a copy of its complaint on two defendants, a California federal judge on Oct. 6 found "good cause" to allow service by publication (Rain Design Inc. v. Spinido Inc., et al., No. 17-3681, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166415).

Magistrate Judge Orders Rolling Paper Documents To Be Turned Over For Discovery
CHICAGO - A magistrate judge in an Illinois federal court on Sept. 27 ordered a tobacco company to produce documents regarding the design of its rolling papers that are in the possession of one of its French subsidiaries in a trademark infringement countersuit after finding that French law does not entirely preempt the company making those documents available for discovery (Republic Technologies LLC, et al. v. BBK Tobacco & Foods LLP, No. 16 3401, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158986).

Trade Secrets, Other Claims Not Plausible On Face, Former Business Partner Says
CHICAGO - A company has failed to show that its trade secrets misappropriation, trademark infringement, breach of contract and other claims against its former business partner are plausible on their face and, thus, dismissal of those claims is warranted, the former business partner argues in an Oct. 10 motion to dismiss filed in Illinois federal court (Mighty Deer Lick Inc., d/b/a Mighty Deer Lick Sweet Apple Inc., v. Morton Salt Inc., No. 17-5875, N.D. Ill.).

Oracle's False Advertising Counterclaims Survive Motion To Dismiss
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 21 found that Lanham Act claims based upon a former copyright infringement defendant's alleged false representation that its revised software maintenance program was no longer infringing are not preempted by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq. (Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle America Inc., No. 14-1699, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154930).

Copyright, Trademark, Patent Claims To Proceed In California Federal Court
LOS ANGELES - Efforts by a defendant to obtain dismissal of allegations of copyright, trademark and design patent infringement stemming from the sale of luxury candy were unsuccessful Sept. 25, when a California federal judge deemed the allegations adequately pleaded (Sugarfina Inc. v. Sweet Pete's LLC, No. 17-4456, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156711).

Federal Circuit Says Jurisdiction Lacking Over Patent, Trademark Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An appeal by pro se plaintiffs of a dismissal by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims of his allegations that the U.S. government committed patent and trademark infringement was turned away on Oct. 6 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that the patent claims were untimely and that the Claims Court lacked jurisdiction over the trademark portion of the case (John Sacchetti v. United States, et al., No. 17-1484, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19530).

9th Circuit Reverses, Remands Trade Dress Functionality Ruling
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in holding that the overall configuration of a live auction television show is functional, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 15, reversing and remanding the denial of preliminary injunctive relief in a trade dress infringement and trade secret misappropriation case (VBS Distribution Inc. v. Nutrivita Inc., et al., No. 17-11598, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17951).

2nd Circuit Affirms Denial Of Request To Disqualify Trademark Counsel
NEW YORK - Although vacating and remanding a permanent injunction, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 affirmed a New York federal judge's decision to deny a request for disqualification of Locke Lord in a dispute over the Swiss Army knife trade dress (Victorinox AG, et al. v. The B&F Systems Inc., et al., Nos. 15-4032, 16-2690, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18070).

Pipe Maker Sues Tobacco Shop For Trademark Infringement
BATON ROUGE, La. - A glass pipe maker on Sept. 21 filed suit in Louisiana federal court, claiming that a tobacco shop sold counterfeit versions of its pipe and used its trademarked brand without its permission (SREAM Inc. v. Tine Forte Carville, No. 3:17-cv-00667, M.D. La.).

Intellectual Property Exclusion Bars Coverage For Trademark Dispute, Judge Says
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Oct. 4 entered judgment in favor of an insurer in a "personal and advertising injury" coverage dispute, finding that the policy's intellectual property exclusion bars coverage because all of the underlying causes of action were dependent on the insured's infringement of a trademark (Land's End at Sunset Beach Community Association, Inc. v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-1740, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163457).

Google Waives Response In High Court Petition Over Genericness Of Its Trademark
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Google Inc. on Sept. 14 waived its right to file an opposition to a petition for certiorari in which two men assert that the term "google" has become generic and, thus, is no longer entitled to trademark protection (David Elliott, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 17-258, U.S. Sup.).

Vietnamese Food Company Appeals Cancellation Of Pho Trademarks To 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - A maker of pho soup base products tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 20 brief that a trial court erred in issuing judgment against it in a trademark dispute with a competing pho maker, arguing that its "Cot" marks are not descriptive and have acquired secondary meaning (Quoc Viet Foods Inc. v. VV Foods LLC, et al., No. 17-55331 and 17-55742, 9th Cir.).

Boat Maker Argues Rival Identified No Protectable Trade Dress, Trade Secrets
ATLANTA - A competing high-end boat manufacturer failed to identify any protectable, nonfunctional trade dress that was allegedly infringed, a craft designer tells the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 20 appellee brief, also alleging that purportedly misappropriated confidential information did not qualify as trade secrets under Florida law (Yellowfin Yachts Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, et al., No. 17-11176, 11th Cir.).

Artist Appeals Unclean Hands Ruling In 'Life Is Beautiful' Trademark Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - A street artist's limited liability company argues in an Oct. 6 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court's unclean hands judgment against it over registrations of the "Life is Beautiful" trademark failed to account for the fact that errors in the registrations were due to innocent mistakes, not fraud (Amusement Art LLC v. Life is Beautiful LLC, et al., No. 17-55045, 9th Cir.).

Tech Firm Appeals Fees Award, Judgment In 'Dropbox' Trademark Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 6 reply brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a small tech company argues that a $2 million attorney fee award against it was inappropriate and "create[s] a terrible precedent" because it was merely defending its "Dropbox" trademark against a larger company (Dropbox Inc. v. Thru Inc., No. 17-15078, 9th Cir.).

2nd Circuit Affirms Trademark Ownership, Laches Determinations
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 8 upheld findings by a New York federal judge that a dispute over the "Kehot" trademark and a related logo is barred by the doctrine of laches, citing a 16-year delay between when the trademark owner learned of the unauthorized use and when it levied a counterclaim of infringement (Vaad L'Hafotzas Sichos Inc., et al. v. Merkos L'Inyonei Church Inc., Nos. 16-2934, -3364, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17360).

New York Federal Judge Denies Dismissal, Sanctions In Trademark Dispute
BUFFALO, N.Y. - A New York federal magistrate judge's recommendation that a motion to dismiss trademark infringement and unfair competition allegations be denied was adopted in full on Sept. 5 by a New York federal judge, who agreed that the plaintiff "fleshes out its claim in considerable detail" and that the claims are not frivolous (Sit N' Stay Pet Services Inc. v. Carrie Hoffman, No. 17-116, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143206).

Texas Federal Judge Dismisses, With Leave To Amend, Trademark Claims
DALLAS - Allegations of trademark infringement against a nonprofit public charter school network and two entities that oversee the charter schools were dismissed Sept. 7 by a Texas federal judge, on grounds that the complaint fails to allege specific acts of infringement by specific defendants (Springboards to Education Inc. v. KIPP Foundation, et al., No. 16-2436, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144709).

Mississippi Federal Judge Denies Relief In Trade Dress Dispute
GREENVILLE, Miss. - Allegations that two defendants infringed trade dress through their design and sale of bracelets featuring a "tapered clasp" and other confusingly similar jewelry will proceed without a preliminary injunction in place, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Sept. 5 (Ronaldo Designer Jewelry Inc. v. James B. Cox, et al., No. 17-2, N.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143047).

Alabama Federal Judge Denies Injunctive Relief In Trademark Dispute
MOBILE, Ala. - A counterclaimant's request for a preliminary injunction while a declaratory judgment action regarding confusion over the "Spire" trademark is litigated was denied Sept. 11 when an Alabama federal judge found an absence of evidence that irreparable harm would result if an injunction is not issued (Spire Inc. v. Cellular South Inc., No. 17-266, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146169).

Judge Dismisses Claims Related To Infringement Of Jewelry Trademarks
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding a lack of federal and subject matter jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Sept. 8 granted a jewelry maker's motion to dismiss claims related to alleged intellectual property infringement but granted a jeweler leave to file a third amended complaint to assert claims for violation of the Declaratory Judgment and Lanham acts (Marco Bicego S.P.A., et al. v. Stephanie Kantis, et al., No. 17-cv-00927, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145865).

Judge Grants Discovery Request Related To Illegal Amazon, EBay Sales
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 1 granted a motion filed by a distributor of trademarked and copyrighted products and designs that alleges that a retailer violated trademark law and California's unfair competition law (UCL) by selling counterfeited items online, granting its request for limited discovery from online retailers regarding the defendant's sales and aliases (Jessie Steel, Inc. v. Linda Ann Henderson, No. 17-cv-02179, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142167).

Black & Decker Loses Out On $54M Trademark Verdict Due To Expert's Flawed Survey
CHICAGO - Two companies got a $54 million trademark infringement verdict against them tossed Sept. 11 when an Illinois federal judge granted them a new trial based on the unreliability and irrelevance of expert testimony regarding the likelihood of consumer confusion about the products at issue, which the judge said probably "unfairly influenced the jury's verdict" (The Black & Decker Corporation, et al. v. Positec USA Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-5426, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147463).

Trademark, Patent Infringement Judgment Upheld By Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge did not abuse his discretion or err in entering a final judgment of trademark and patent infringement against a defendant accused of selling a competing, knockoff hydradermabrasion system, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 8 (Edge Systems LLC, et al. v. Rafael Newton Aguila, No. 16-2189, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17365).

7th Circuit Agrees With Jury Verdict Of No Trademark Infringement
CHICAGO - Allegations that a defendant violated the Lanham Act when operating a "painting night" business under the name "Wine & Canvas" were properly rejected by jurors, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 17 (Wine & Canvas Development LLC, et al. v. Christopher Muylle, Nos. 15-2088, -3658, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15508).

11th Circuit Says Dismissal Of Lanham Act Dispute Over Ownership Was Proper
ATLANTA - An Alabama federal judge did not err in dismissing allegations of Lanham Act violations stemming from representations by five defendants that they are the true owner of coal and timber collected on a plaintiff's land, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 24 (Black Diamond Management LLC v. Twin Pines Coal Company Inc., et al., No. 16-15240, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16154).

9th Circuit Denies Rehearing, Amends Ruling In Trademark Case
SAN FRANCISCO - The same three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that on July 11 rejected efforts by a trademark infringement defendant to rely on the Tea Rose-Rectanus doctrine - so-named for Hanover Star Milling Co. v. Metcalf, 240 U.S. 403 (1916), (Tea Rose) and United Drug Co. v. Theodore Rectanus Co., 248 U.S. 90 (1918) - voted Aug. 30 to deny a petition to rehear the case (Stone Creek Inc. v. Omnia Italian Design Inc., No. 15-17418, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16632).

Clothing Line Owner, PTO Brief Federal Circuit On Registration Of Vulgar Trademark
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the owner of the "fuct" line of clothing have submitted letter briefs to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals addressing whether the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on disparaging trademarks in Matal v. Tam has any effect on the present case's dispute on whether scandalous marks can be registered (In Re: Erik Brunetti, No. 15-1109, Fed. Cir.).

Domain Registrar Tells 4th Circuit False Advertising Suit Was Not Exceptional
RICHMOND, Va. - An internet domain registry firm, whose Lanham Act false advertising claims against a competitor failed, argues in an Aug. 30 brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court properly declined to award attorney fees to the prevailing defendant because the claims were reasonable and supported by evidence (Verisign Inc. v. LLC, et al., No. 17-1704, 4th Cir.).

Amazon Asserts No Infringement Of Artificial Turf Trademark To 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Aug. 25 appellee brief, Inc. tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that its automated purchasing of keyword advertising using an artificial turf firm's trademark did not constitute direct infringement under the Lanham Act, arguing that any infringement was attributable to third-party sellers of counterfeit products (Steven Lasoff v. Inc., No. 17-35173, 9th Cir.).

Trademark Applicant Tells Federal Circuit Design Is Not Functional
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An examiner's decision - later upheld by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) - that a proposed U-shaped design for a locking channel is unprotectable as functional in light of several expired utility patents will be debated Oct. 4 before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re: Openings, No. 16-2307, Fed. Cir.).

Louis Vuitton, Parody Bag Maker Argue Trademark Dilution To Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. (LV) seeks a grant of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court to examine the standard for determining when the use of a trademark is a parody, and thus fair use, per the Trademark Dilution Revision Act (TDRA), while a defendant asserts that its accused handbags were clearly noninfringing parodies of LV's products, as a trial court and an appeals court both ruled (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag Inc., No. 17-72, U.S. Sup.).

Jack In The Box Franchisee Appeals Breach, Trademark Judgment To 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - A trial court erred in granting judgment to Jack in the Box Inc. (JIB) on contractual and trademark infringement claims related to the termination of franchise agreements, an ex-franchisee of the fast-food chain argues in a Sept. 5 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that genuine disputed issues of material fact exist (Jack in the Box Inc. v. Deepak Mehta, et al., No. 17-15336, 9th Cir.).

Bourbon Distiller Tells 5th Circuit Plaintiff Abandoned 'Cowboy' Mark
NEW ORLEANS - Citing years with no sales of its trademarked whiskey, coupled with having never sold its product in the United States, a bourbon distillery argues in a Sept. 6 brief to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a jury correctly found that a plaintiff whiskey seller abandoned its trademark years before the defendant's use of a similar mark (Allied Lomar Inc. v. Lone Star Distillery LLC, et al., No. 17-50148, 5th Cir.).

New York Federal Judge Issues $19.35 Million Award In Trademark Case
NEW YORK - A dispute over engagement rings marketed by Costco Wholesale Corp. with "Tiffany" signage ended in a $19.35 million award on Aug. 14, when a New York federal judge agreed that the jeweler is entitled to trebled damages (Tiffany and Company v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 13-1041, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128946).

Virginia Federal Judge Directs Trademark Office To Register
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an Aug. 9 ruling, a Virginia federal judge declared "" a descriptive trademark that has acquired secondary meaning in Class 43 for hotel reservation services ( B.V. v. Joseph Matal, No. 16-425, E.D. Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126320).

Federal Circuit Vacates, Remands Trademark Board 'Earnhardt' Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that the mark "Earnhardt Collection" is not primarily merely a surname may have relied on an improper application of In re: Hutchinson Technology Inc., the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 27 (Teresa H. Earnhardt v. Kerry Earnhardt Inc., No. 16-1939, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13576).

Federal Circuit Vacates Fee Rulings In Patent, Trademark Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by a Connecticut federal judge to award fees under the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 285, but deny a similar award in connection with a jury's finding of trademark infringement was vacated Aug. 9 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc., Nos. 2016-1115, 2016-1116, 2016-1842, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14644).

Judge Says UPS Franchisees Lack Standing To Bring False Advertising Claims
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 2 granted summary judgment to The UPS Store Inc., United Parcel Service and owners of Manhattan UPS stores accused of false advertising under the Lanham Act, saying that UPS franchisees lacked standing to bring their claims (The UPS Store, Inc., et al. v. Robert Hagan, et al., No. 14-cv-1210, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121352).

9th Circuit Remands Trademark Case, Finds Confusion Likely
SAN FRANCISCO - An Arizona federal judge erred in his assessment of likelihood of confusion following a trademark infringement bench trial but properly rejected a defendant's effort to invoke a doctrine established by the U.S. Supreme Court in a pair of decisions issued in the early 20th century, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 11 (Stone Creek Inc. v. Omnia Italian Design Inc., No. 15-17418, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12393).

New York Federal Judge Sides With Trademark Owner, Issues Relief
ALBANY, N.Y. - A dispute over the "FLAX" trademark was resolved Aug. 1 in favor of the mark owner, when a New York federal judge found that a defendant's use of "Dr. Flax" was likely to cause confusion (Heartland Trademarks Ltd. v. Dr. Flax LLC, No. 17-795, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120440).

Florida Federal Judge Dismisses Counterfeit Tobacco Pipe Lawsuit
MIAMI. - A federal judge in Florida on July 7 denied a glass-pipe maker's motion for default judgment in a copyright infringement suit and dismissed the suit without prejudice after finding that the plaintiff "lacks standing to pursue its federal claims" and the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction (Sream Inc. v. Mayasam, Inc., No. 16-cv-24825, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106100).

Mattress Seller, Review Website Settle, Dismiss False Advertising Lawsuit
NEW YORK - In a July 28 stipulation of dismissal filed in New York federal court, an online mattress retailer and a mattress review website operator announced that they have settled their respective false advertising claims, brought under the Lanham Act and state law (Casper Sleep Inc. v. Derek Hales, et al., No. 1:16-cv-03223, S.D. N.Y.).

11th Circuit Upholds Rejection Of Copyright, Trademark Claims
ATLANTA - Allegations that a copyright and trademark infringement defendant befriended a plaintiff under false pretenses in order to misappropriate portions of her autobiography for a line of perfumes were properly rejected by a Georgia federal judge, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 18 (Daisy Byrd Mobley v. Claire Fermont-Langlais, et al., No. 16-12340, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12841).

Dismissal Denied For Tobacco Product Distributor In Trademark Infringement Suit
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 7 denied a motion to dismiss brought by a counterdefendant in a tobacco product trademark infringement suit after finding that the court had jurisdiction over the counterclaims because the counterdefendant, which is based in California, has done business in Illinois (Republic Technologies, et al. v. BBK Tobacco & Foods, No. 16-CV-3401, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124673).

Texas Federal Judge Cuts Fees For Salon Franchisor In Breach Of Contract Suit
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on July 27 awarded a hair salon franchisor $26,900 in attorney fees and $8,649.42 in litigation expenses and court costs, less than the $62,344 the franchisor was seeking, in a case against a former franchisee alleging breach of contract, unfair competition and trademark and trade dress infringement, finding duplication of effort between the two law firms that worked on the case (Fantastic Sams Franchise Corporation v. Gerald Mosley, No. 16-2318, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177941).

Texas Federal Judge Grants Motion To Amend Restaurant Franchisor's Trademark Suit
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on July 31 granted a motion to file a second amended complaint requested by restaurant franchisors and denied a restaurant group's motion to dismiss the trademark infringement lawsuit, saying that the defendant would not suffer undue prejudice and that it did not appear to be an effort to circumvent the defendant's motion to dismiss the suit (Stockade Cos. LLC, et al. v. Kelly Restaurant Group LLC, No. 1:17-cv-143, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120012).

Judge Vacates Default Ruling In Athletic Apparel Trademark Infringement Case
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on July 24 set aside a default ruling entered against the chief operating officer of an apparel company that allegedly infringed on another entity's trademark in violation of federal trademark law and California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that setting aside the default ruling would not prejudice the owner of the mark (Lights Out Holdings LLC v. Lights Out Apparel LLC, et al., No.16cv2195, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115326).

Mr. Softee Inc. Sues Ex-Franchisee Over Use Of Name, Trademarks
CAMDEN, N.J. - Mr. Softee Inc. on July 13 filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in New Jersey federal court against a former franchisee, alleging that he is operating ice cream stands at the Jersey Shore using the Mister Softee trademarks without permission (Mister Softee Inc. v. Carl Gallucci, No. 1:17-cv-05124, D. N.J.).

Sears Home & Business Sues Ex-Franchisee For Alleged Use Of Marks And Trade Secrets
CHICAGO - Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc. on July 14 filed a five-count complaint in Illinois federal court seeking a preliminary injunction enjoining a former franchisee from continuing to operate two businesses as if authorized by Sears Home and from using its marks, confidential information and trade secrets (Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc. v. Arizona Garage Doors & Repair Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-05239, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).

Domain Registrar Appeals Fees Denial In False Advertising Suit To 4th Circuit
RICHMOND, Va. - A domain registry firm that prevailed in a Lanham Act false advertising suit appealed a denial of its quest for attorney fees to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing in a July 31 brief that a trial court used the incorrect evidentiary standard and failed to consider evidence of the plaintiff's improper motive in filing suit (Verisign Inc. v. LLC, et al., No. 17-1704, 4th Cir.).

DJ, Rapper Argue Trademark Likelihood Of Confusion Factors To High Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a July 14 brief, a rapper and related parties asked the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a Michigan DJ's petition for certiorari in a dispute over the trademark "DJ Logic," contending that the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals applied the proper standards in affirming that there was no likelihood of confusion between the parties' respective marks (Lee Jason Kibler v. Robert Bryson Hall II, et al., No. 16-1365, U.S. Sup.).

Financial Firms Argue Jurisdiction In 7th Circuit 'Ariel' Trademark Suit
CHICAGO - Two investment firms that use the "Ariel" trademark in their names filed briefs in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether an Illinois court properly exercised jurisdiction over the Florida-based defendant in the trademark infringement lawsuit (Ariel Investments LLC v. Ariel Capital Advisors LLC, No. 17-1516, 7th Cir.).

Clothier Tells 2nd Circuit 2003 Agreement Does Not Cover Subsequent Infringement
NEW YORK - In a July 24 reply brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a clothing manufacturer argues that a 2003 agreement that settled a trademark dispute over a rival's use of the "Lucky" mark did not serve to bar future infringement claims arising from future, distinct actions (Marcel Fashions Group Inc. v. Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., et al., No. 17-0361, 2nd Cir.).