SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 20 affirmed a federal court’s ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying trademark dispute (Premier Pools Management Corp. v. Colony Insurance Corp., No. 18-16551, 9th Cir.).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 16 held that underlying claims brought against the insured by its competitor were not potentially covered under a commercial general liability insurance policy's personal and advertising injury coverage or were barred by the policy’s prior publication, known injury and intellectual property exclusions, affirming a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer (Scottsdale Insurance Company v. PTB Sales, Inc., No. 19-55350, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 22158).
RICHMOND, Va. — A trial court correctly found that it owned certain traditional diocesan trademarks, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) argues to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a July 1 brief, asking the appeals court to affirm a ruling that a disassociated diocese infringed these trademarks when it claimed to be a continuation of the traditional diocese in South Carolina (The Episcopal Church, et al. v. Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence, et al., Nos. 19-2112, 19-2163 and 20-1061, 4th Cir.).
NEW YORK — An infringement defendant was ordered July 9 to halt sales of products bearing a variety of trademarks by a federal judge in New York, just over one month after the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals deemed a previous injunction overbroad (Really Good Stuff LLC v. BAP Investors L.C., et al., No. 19-2218, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121043).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on July 8 granted Google LLC summary judgment, deeming the tech giant entitled to prevail on allegations that it infringed the “G-Suite” trademark (GearSource Holdings LLC v. Google Inc., No. 18-3812, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119892).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Florida federal judge’s application of the trademark statute in assessing a request for an award of attorney fees in a patent case was an abuse of discretion, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 1, reversing and remanding (Electronic Communication Technologies LLC v. ShoppersChoice.com LLC, No. 19-2087, Fed. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20504).
NEW ORLEANS — A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 30 upheld a Texas federal judge’s determination that two tortious interference defendants are entitled to immunity in connection with cease-and-desist letters they sent that asserted copyright and trademark infringement by a competitor (Construction Cost Data L.L.C., et al. v. Gordian Group Inc., et al., No. 19-20482, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20489).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its July 2 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari by Booking.com B.V. in which the travel website asserted that it cannot be made to reimburse the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) attorney fees the agency incurred in connection with its defense of a denied trademark registration (Booking.com B.V. v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 18-1309, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — A provider of renewable energy, clean transportation and design and manufacturing services and its subsidiary that is the exclusive seller of Build Your Dreams (BYD) health care products in North America filed an unfair competition, trademark dilution and trademark infringement lawsuit in a California federal court on June 22, alleging that “bad actors” used their “brand recognition and trademarks to deceive and harm the public” and that the consequences of counterfeit respirator masks “can literally be deadly” (BYD Company Ltd, et al. v. Alexander Khazai, et al., No. 20-5530, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Findings by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the addition of a generic top-level domain (TLD) to a generic term can transform that combination into a protectable, descriptive trademark were affirmed June 30 by a divided U.S. Supreme Court (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, et al. v. Booking.com B.V., No. 19-46, U.S. Sup.).
DETROIT — A chicken wings restaurant was denied a preliminary injunction on June 26 by a Michigan federal judge on claims for trademark and trade dress infringement and copyright infringement against another wings restaurant and its franchising company because many restaurants that serve chicken use circles or images of chicken in their logos (Eastpointe DWC, LLC v. Wing Snob Inc., et al., No. 19-13768, E.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108526).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 25 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial on allegations that a furniture maker willfully infringed the trade dress of the Herman Miller Inc. (HMI) “Aeron” chair (Blumenthal Distributing Inc. v. Herman Miller Inc., Nos. 18-56471, -56493, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19950).
CINCINNATI — A Michigan federal judge’s preliminary injunction barring the former franchisees of four Little Caesars from operating their restaurants or from continued use of the Little Caesars trademarks was not an abuse of discretion, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 25 in an unpublished order (Little Caesars Enterprises Inc., et al. v. Miramar Quick Service Restaurant Corp., et al., No. 19-1860, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19962).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 22 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of a commercial general liability insurer in a lawsuit filed by a private label manufacturer for Wal-Mart Inc. seeking coverage for an underlying trademark infringement action brought against the retailer (Hybrid Promotions LLC v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 18-56658, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insured recently asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling that its insurer has no duty to defend it against an underlying trademark dispute (Premier Pools Management Corp. v. Colony Insurance Corp., No. 18-16551, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A prior dismissal with prejudice of patent infringement allegations against Amazon.com Inc. serves to bar the patent owner from now suing Amazon’s customers, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 17, affirming a California federal judge’s grant of summary judgment in the cases (PersonalWeb Technologies LLC v. Amazon.com Inc., et al., No. 19-1918, Fed. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18939).
CHICAGO — A Wisconsin federal judge did not err in denying a copyright and trademark infringement defendant an award of its attorney fees following a voluntary dismissal of the claims by the defendant’s former employer, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 17 (Timothy B. O’Brien LLC v. David Knott, et al., No. 19-2138, 7th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18957).
LOS ANGELES — Myriad defendants “operated an illegal scheme” to sell counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE) “in order to take advantage” of and exploit consumers during the COVID-19 global pandemic, 3M Inc. alleges in a June 8 complaint filed in the Central District of California (3M Company v. KM Brothers Inc., et al., No. 20-5049, C.D. Calif.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on June 10 refused to dismiss a health care franchisor’s breach of contract and trademark infringement lawsuit against a Louisiana-based hospice services franchisee, holding that Florida is the proper venue for the lawsuit because the franchisee is a successor-in-interest to the company that signed the original agreement that designates Florida as the appropriate location for litigation (Interim Healthcare Inc. v. Interim Healthcare of Southeast Louisiana Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-62412-BLOOM/Valle, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101841).
PHILADELPHIA — A musician who claims to have founded the band The Ebonys filed a brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 1, arguing that a trial court wrongly dismissed his trademark infringement suit over the band name against another resumption under the doctrine of claim preclusion (David Beasley v. William Howard, No. 20-1119, 3rd Cir.).