The US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit published its opinion today, finding that a federally registered trademark for the mark Sturgis, owned by Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. (SMRI), is invalid. This is a major victory for Rushmore Photo & Gifts, the Niemann family of Rapid City, SD, and Wal-mart Stores, Inc., the defendants in this seven-year dispute over the Sturgis mark, The Court found that SMRI’s unregistered, common law trademarks “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally” and “Sturgis Rally & Races” are also invalid.
Conventional wisdom tells us that, in business disputes, mediation works best when it is voluntary. So why do judges regularly force litigants into mediation? Perhaps it’s because, in their experience, reality is quite different from the conventional wisdom. Namely, that mediation, whether voluntary or coerced, often helps litigants avoid unnecessary and costly litigation.
Patterson Thuente IP is pleased to present the June/July 2018 issue of Ideas on Intellectual Property Law. We encourage you to read through it for ideas on how to best protect your intellectual property.
Not all intellectual property is created equal. Typically, only some of a company’s IP actually relates to core products or promising future technologies. This fraction of a company’s IP portfolio is where its priorities should lie from an enforcement standpoint, especially in more competitive industries. The rights afforded by these core patents, trademarks and trade secrets protect the backbone of the company.
Patent trolls continue to be an issue. Patterson Thuente’s litigation team has defended one of the world’s largest computer security vendors, Kaspersky Lab, against multiple patent infringement claims brought by some of the most well-known patent trolls in the industry. In all instances, the trolls have gained nothing from our client and in some cases, have walked away on the eve of trial. Our latest victory for Kaspersky…
Rushmore Photo & Gifts, Inc. (RPG), the Niemann family, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. are celebrating a victory over Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. (SMRI) in a controversial, six-year trademark dispute over the name “Sturgis.” On March 10, the Court found that RPG and Wal-Mart had valid equitable defenses to SMRI’s trademark claims. The Court vacated and dismissed the entire jury damage award of $912,500, ruling that “SMRI is barred from recovering damages and profits from the defendants for the time period prior to October 30, 2015.”
Obtaining patent protection is the culmination of hard work and perseverance—from the engineers/inventors/R&D team who develop the invention to company leadership who make the financial investment to the attorneys who take the idea through the patent process. The result is an intangible asset that provides the patent owner with an advantage over the competition and one that should be jealously guarded.
Our litigation team is giving a free lecture next Friday, October 28 at Pericles, Practical Concerns Affecting Foreign Litigants in US Courts and How US Political Issues Affect the Court System. They will discuss concerns that affect foreign litigants in US courts, including (1) deciding where to litigate: federal or state court, and (2) ongoing changes in the law that affect the outcome of civil cases.
Responding to a Patent Infringement Cease and Desist Letter Competing in today’s business climate is difficult enough without the addition of legal headaches. But legal conflicts are part of modern business and sometimes arise in the form of a cease and desist letter from a patent owner. These letters follow a familiar form where a patent owner identifies the patented invention, claims that your product uses it without permission, and demands that in the very near future you either pay up, stop the activity, or both.
Choosing the wrong name can be expensive. Gain essential knowledge on trademarks and the naming process. Introducing The Guide for Pursuing Legally Defensible & High-Value Trademarks – a collaborate effort with the branding experts Olive & Company.