Monday, August 27, 2012

Summary Judgment in Trademark Infringement Cases

Trademark infringement cases require a fact intensive analysis.  As such, summary judgment is often disfavored.  The recent 9th Circuit reversal of a defense summary judgment ruling in the trademark infringement case of Rearden LLC v. Rearden Commerce, Inc. supports this conclusion.

Lanham Act trademark infringement claims require that the plaintiff prove its ownership interest in a contested mark by providing evidence of priority of use of the mark in commerce.  Plaintiffs can show use in commerce by establishing two elements:  the sale or use of goods/services in advertising; and services/goods are rendered in commerce. 

Actual sales need not occur.  The Court in Rearden found that the plaintiff created a material issue of fact merely from the offering of its services to one company.  The Court held that this could fulfill the use in commerce requirement. 

This case is very helpful for plaintiffs involved in trademark infringement litigation in the 9th Circuit.  It increases the chances of passing summary judgment which often leads to substantial settlement offers or a possible lucrative jury verdict. 

1 comment:

Tom Mathew said...

Great Summary Judgment in Trademark Infringement Cases.
I like this blog content so much.
Thank You.....
internet lawyer