The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision today that has serious implications for trademark brand owners, as well as those accused of trademark infringement. In the case of Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., fka Fossil, Inc., et. al., the Supreme Court held that a plaintiff in a trademark infringement suit is not required to show that a defendant willfully infringed the plaintiff’s trademark as a precondition to a profits award. This decision changes the law in several federal Circuits and drastically raises the stakes in any suit involving claims of trademark infringement.
If you have questions about intellectual property rights or trademark issues, contact our IPC professionals at (504) 322-7166 for more information on how we can help.
IPC attorney Ian Barras successfully assisted client, Lucas Steele, with obtaining US Patent No 10,557,644 on his adjustable drip pan, or water-impermeable basin for collecting water, designed to be installed into hard-to-access spaces.
Steele, of LJ Steele Air Conditioning & Heat LLC, through his years of experience in A/C installation and repair, recognized a need to be able to retrofit or replace a water catching device for centralized air conditioning units into awkward or hard to reach places.
Centralized air conditioning units contain condenser coils, which can cause water vapor to condense and drip. Most units address this problem by use of some form of a drip pan, which can be connected to a drain, or use float switches to detect the presence of water. However, certain types of centralized air conditioning units, in particular, vertically-oriented evaporator units, are installed in homes in such a fashion that replacing or otherwise servicing the drip pan can be very difficult.
Steele’s invention of an adjustable drip pan with an integrated float switch designed to retrofit under awkwardly placed central air conditioning units is a remarkable achievement in his industry, and we are happy to celebrate this accomplishment with him.
IPC routinely assists clients with obtaining patents for their inventions. If you are interested in learning more about obtaining patent protection for an invention, call our professionals at (504) 322-7126.
IPC recently represented client, Tropical Isle, the home of the Hand Grenade cocktail, in a lawsuit against Willie’s Chicken Shack in federal court, claiming the plastic cup used to serve Willie’s signature Cocktail too closely resembles the trademarked Hand Grenade cocktail cup. Tropical Isle has been selling Hand Grenades, described as “New Orleans’ most powerful drink,” since 1985 and the trademark for the Hand Grenade cup design dates to 1992.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District Court of Louisiana, claims, “the intent of Willie’s Chicken Shack is unmistakable – to wrongly divert to Willie’s Chicken Shack consumers who desire a Tropical Isle Hand Grenade cocktail in a Tropical Isle souvenir cup.” IPC attorneys Kent Barnett and Greg Latham were lead counsel for Tropical Isle; the trial team included, Ian Barras, Stephen Kepper and Rick Sahuc.
The parties reached a settlement of the case in mid-March, just before the matter was scheduled to go to trial in front of Judge Wendy Vitter. The specific terms of the settlement are confidential, but for Tropical Isle the outcome is favorable. Tropical Isle owns a portfolio of federally-registered trademarks surrounding its world-famous Hand Grenade cocktail.
IPC has served as Tropical Isle’s intellectual property counsel for nearly a decade. If you have questions about intellectual property rights or trademark issues, contact us at (504) 322-7166 for more information on how our professionals can help.
IPC attorney, Adriano Pacifici, has secured a victory for its client, Escobar, Inc., in a dispute over the rights to the domain name, pabloescobar.com. In an arbitration proceeding under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, Mr. Pacifici filed a complaint alleging that the domain name was confusingly similar to Escobar Inc.’s PABLO ESCOBAR trademark. The UDRP panel, after considering Mr. Pacifici’s argument, ordered that the domain name registration be transferred to Escobar, Inc.
The full decision can be reviewed here:
IPC attorneys have handled UDRP proceedings for more than two decades. If you have a trademark or domain name issue you want to discuss, our professionals are here to help. Give us a call at (504) 322-7166.
As we continue to monitor COVID-19 and its impacts, we want to assure you IPC remains fully operational and well prepared to respond to our clients’ needs now and throughout the duration of this public health crisis. IPC’s attorneys and staff are equipped to work remotely in a technologically secure environment. We hope this crisis will be limited in duration, but regardless of how long it lasts, we have ample resources to service our clients, while keeping our team members safe. Our normal contact information continues to work and attorney contact information can be found on our website. We wish safety and good health to everyone.
Intellectual Property Consulting, LLC
400 Poydras Street, Suite 1400, New Orleans, LA 70130
IPC attorney Ian C. Barras successfully represented Buddy Good, LLC before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in an opposition brought by Monster Energy Company. Monster filed its opposition in an attempt to prevent the registration of Buddy Good’s Monster Creole Seasoning® mark. Monster Creole Seasoning® is an original spice blend created in 1999 in New Orleans with a proprietary blend of spices crafted to appeal to those who enjoy flavorful food – the spice mix claims it, "Tastes so good it's scary!" IPC was able to negotiate an amicable resolution to the dispute resulting in Monster dismissing its opposition, and Buddy Good’s Monster Creole Seasoning® mark is now registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. IPC attorneys regularly assist clients with complex trademark issues.