Over the past month, e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. has filed at least 10 trademark infringement lawsuits against business owners and stores in several states that they allege are selling counterfeit and gray-market e-cigarette products misrepresented as authentic Juul products or as products intended for domestic sale in the United States (Juul Labs Inc. v. Madison Food Mart Inc., No. 20-cv-1175, N.D. Ala.; Juul Labs Inc. v. Mohammed Olabi, et al., No. 20-cv-1234, D. Conn.; Juul Labs Inc. v. Jubilee Smoke & Vape Inc., et al., No. 20-cv-6453, S.D. N.Y.; Juul Labs Inc. v. 5 Borough Market II Corp., No. 20-cv-3799, E.D. N.Y.; Juul Labs, Inc. v. Salam Murshed, No. 20-cv-868, D. N.H.; Juul Labs Inc. v. Express Novelty Inc., No. 20-cv-2602, W.D. Tenn.; Juul Labs Inc. v. Gladys Smoke Shop Inc., No. 20-cv-353, E.D. Texas; Juul Labs Inc. v. LMD Ventures Inc., No. 20-cv-984, W.D. Texas; Juul Labs Inc. v. Goody & Sons Inc., No. 20-cv-2164, N.D. Texas; Juul Labs Inc. v. Surya Maya LLC, No. 20-cv-949, N.D. Texas).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 held that a lower federal court erred in finding that an insurance policy's intellectual property exclusion unambiguously precluded coverage solely based on the allegations that the insured asserted in an underlying lawsuit, reversing and remanding (MyChoice Software, LLC, et al. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 19-56030, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 26328).
SEATTLE — A charter airline that one year ago prevailed on allegations that it infringed a trademarked logo was denied its bid for $272,607 in attorney fees on Sept. 1, when a federal judge in Washington found that the case was not objectively unreasonable (New Flyer Industries Canada ULC, et al. v. San Juan Airlines, No. 18-299, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159182).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A trademark dispute over apple cider vinegar gummies and diet pills with similar names will proceed without a preliminary injunction in place, a federal judge in Delaware ruled Sept. 1 (GOLO LLC v. Goli Nutrition, No. 20-667, D. Del., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158508).
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC (Facebook, collectively) filed claims for computer fraud, trademark infringement and cybersquatting against a Belarus man in California federal court on Aug. 27, claiming that the defendant operates a business where he "artificially inflate[s] the 'likes,' 'comments,' 'views,' and 'followers' of Instagram accounts" via a network of computers and bots (Facebook Inc., et al. v. Nikolay Holper, No. 20-6023, N.D. Calif.).
PHOENIX — An Instagram page promoting a "Hoax-19" party at Arizona State University (ASU) and calling the novel coronavirus pandemic a hoax prompted the university to file a trademark infringement complaint in Arizona federal court on Aug. 20 against a John Doe that created the Instagram account, which features ASU's trademarks, and Facebook Inc., which owns Instagram LLC (Arizona Board of Regents v. John Doe, et al., No. 20-1638, D. Ariz.).
MIAMI — In an Aug. 21 docket entry styled as a "paperless order," a federal judge in Florida rejected plaintiffs' efforts to hold a trial on their allegations of breach of guaranty via videoconference in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding instead that an in-person trial by year's end on that claim and Lanham Act damages "is possible with social distancing protocols in place" (Tim Hortons USA Inc., et al. v. Tims Milner LLC, et al., No. 18-24152, S.D. Fla.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction in a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit over the "ePorner" website was affirmed Aug. 17 by a deeply divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in a holding that spawned two concurrences and a dissent (AMA Multimedia LLC v. Marcin Wanat, No. 18-15051, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 26140).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York erred in determining that a retailer engaged in counterfeiting as a matter of law at the summary judgment stage, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 17, vacating and remanding an advisory jury's subsequent $21,010,438 award on behalf of a trademark infringement plaintiff (Tiffany and Company, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Nos. 17-2798, 19-338 and 19-404, 2nd Cir.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — In an Aug. 11 reply supporting its motion for reconsideration of a California federal court's dismissal of its trademark infringement against a rival website operator, a "sugar daddy" dating website owner maintains that it is entitled to relief from the dismissal, which was due to both parties' failure to comply with document filing deadlines (Reflex Media Inc., et al. v. Apiriliaco Ltd., et al., No. 8:16-cv-00795, C.D. Calif.).
DENVER — In an Aug. 11 holding, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Utah federal judge's grant of summary judgment in favor of two defendants accused of infringing the popular "LifePlanner" personal organizer, finding that "no reasonable juror could conclude" that a competing organizer is substantially similar (EC Design LLC v. Craft Smith LLC, et al., No. 19-4087, 10th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 25342).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 7 held that a lower federal court erred in finding that a former employee of a digital marketing firm breached the terms of a separation contract but affirmed the lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor of an industry competitor as to the firm's claim for violation of California unfair competition law (UCL) and denial of the firm's motion for a new trial on its trade secret misappropriation claim (Six Dimensions Inc. v. Inc., et al., No. 19-20505, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 25004).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge erred in concluding that she was bound by the law of the case doctrine in denying a request for prospective injunctive relief in a dispute over the "Fred Segal" trademark, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 4 (Fred Segal LLC v. CormackHill LP, Nos. 18-56093, -56169, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 24533).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Aug. 5 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion in a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to sanction a trademark owner in a dispute over "Hollywood Beer" (Kris Kaszuba v. Andrei Iancu, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 19-1547, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Disclaimer by the Coca-Cola Co. of any right to the term "Zero" in connection with its soft drinks mooted a challenge by Royal Crown Co. Inc. to 16 Coca-Cola trademark applications, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 3 (Royal Crown Company Inc. v. Coca-Cola Company, No. 19-2088, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A panel majority of the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 27 reversed and remanded a determination by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that because a petitioner for trademark cancellation lacks a proprietary interest in an asserted unregistered mark, it lacks standing (Australian Therapeutic Supplies Pty. Ltd. v. Naked TM LLC, No. 19-1567, Fed. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 23523).
ATLANTA — In a July 1 appellant brief, a concert promoter urges the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to "formally adopt" lex loci delicti considerations when evaluating extraterritorial application of Section 44 of the Lanham Act under the standard set in Steele v. Bulova Watch Co. (Alan Parsons v. John Regna, et al., No. 20-11293, 11th Cir.).
ATLANTA — In a July 23 holding, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld various rulings by a Florida federal judge in a longstanding trademark dispute between the Grammy Award-winning band The Commodores and a former member (Commodores Entertainment Corporation v. Thomas McClary, et al., Nos. 19-10791, -12819, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 23129).
CHICAGO — In a July 22 ruling, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals awarded a trademark owner $44,329.50 as a sanction for what was previously deemed a frivolous appeal by an infringement defendant and its attorney (Quincy Bioscience LLC v. Ellishbooks, No. 19‐1799, 7th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 22888).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a July 17 holding, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with a federal judge’s rejection of allegations that a pizza restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland, is not subject to extraterritorial application of the federal copyright and trademark statutes (IMAPizza LLC v. At Pizza Ltd., No. 18-7168, D.C. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 22294).