IPC recently obtained a big win in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Case No. 20-31233) securing an award of nearly $150,000 in attorneys’ fees for client Alliance for Good Government in its trademark infringement case against the Coalition for Better Government. In two previous appeals, the Fifth Circuit had affirmed the district court’s prior judgments: (1) that the Coalition infringed the Alliance’s trademark rights by copying the Alliance’s eagle logo; and (2) that the Alliance was entitled to recover attorneys’ fees because the lawsuit qualified as an “exceptional case” under the Lanham Act due to the Coalition’s litigation conduct.
When the Alliance was unable to collect its fee award following the second appeal due to the Coalition’s complete lack of assets, IPC attorney Rick Sahuc obtained a judgment from the district court holding Darleen Jacobs (the founder, president and lead attorney for the Coalition) personally liable for the fee award, even though she was not a party to the underlying lawsuit.
The district court agreed with Mr. Sahuc’s argument that the Lanham Act allowed the court to do so because Ms. Jacobs was personally responsible for the actions that made the lawsuit an “exceptional case” and for the Coalition’s inability to satisfy the fee award. The Fifth Circuit’s recent decision affirmed that judgment, which also included an increased fee award to account for additional attorneys’ fees incurred.
If you have questions about trademark related issues, the professionals at IPC can help. Give us a call at (504) 322-7166.