Our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, September 30, 2013 will be a discussion of two recent Trade Dress cases.  The first case is from the Sixth Circuit:

Groeneveld Transport Efficiency, Inc. v. Lubecore International, Case Nos. 12-3545/3576 (6th Cir. Sept. 12, 2013) (available here).   The key issue in this case is whether a company can use trade-dress law to protect its functional product design from competition with a “copycat” design made by another company where there is no reasonable likelihood that consumers would confuse the two companies’ products as emanating from a single source.  The Sixth Circuit held it cannot, stating that trademark law is designed to promote brand recognition, not to insulate product manufacturers from lawful competition.

The second case is is Urban Group Exercise Consultants, Ltd. v. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. (U.S.D.C. March 8, 2013) (available here), is a recent opinion where plaintiff Urban, a manufacturer of trampolines,  failed to survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss motion brought by Dick’s, regarding its trade dress cause of actions.

All are invited to join us in our discussion during the SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, September 30, 2013 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 Noelle Smith by 9 am Monday morning.