For our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, May 9, 2016, we will discuss the following cases:
Baker v. Deshong (5th Cir. May 3, 2016) (available here). Baker sued Deshong in the Northern District of Texas for trademark infringement for Deshong’s use of the phrase, “HIV Innocence Group Truth,” and “HIV Innocence Project Truth.” The district court dismissed the Lanham Act claims finding that a consumer would not be confused between Deshong’s use of the phrase, and Baker’s trademark for the “HIV Innocence Group.” Deshong then moved to recover attorney fees asserting that the case was exceptional. The district court denied Deshong’s motion for fees. On appeal, the 5th Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling and remanded the case for reconsideration on the issue of fees.
Sport Dimension, Inc. v. The Coleman Company (Fed. Cir. April 19, 2016) (available here). Coleman owns a design patent for personal flotation devices, and accused Sport Dimension that it’s product called the Body Glove, infringed Coleman’s design patent. Sport Dimension filed a declaratory judgment action in the Central District of California. The district court construed the design and concluded that the armbands and tapered torso served a functional purpose. On appeal, the Federal Circuit held that while certain design elements serve functional purposes, that the district court erred when it isolated elements from the design and didn’t review the overall design of the product. The Federal Circuit then vacated the stipulated judgment of noninfringement, and remanded to the district court on the issue of infringement.
All are invited to join us on Monday, May 9, 2016, at noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Moniquee Brown by 9 am Monday morning.