MEL GARNER WRITES ON FOREIGN PATENTS FOR INSIDE COUNSELApril 27, 2015
LEASON ELLIS SUCCESSFULLY REPRESENTS PARTY CITY IN TRADEMARK SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONMay 20, 2015
Representing plaintiffs Party City and Amscan Inc. in a patent and trademark infringement suit surrounding the plaintiffs’ manufacture, distribution and sale of sunglasses, Leason Ellis invalidated the trademark rights of defendants Shutter Shades, Inc. ("SSI") and, its principal, Donald T. Wilkerson, in the mark SHUTTER SHADES in the course of procuring an order directing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel SSI’s trademark registration for that mark. The Hon. Cathy Seibel granted plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion in its entirety, without the need for a full trial on the merits, finding as a matter of law that (i) Party City and Amscan did not infringe SSI's purported trademark rights in the mark SHUTTER SHADES, and (ii) SSI’s trademark rights had in fact been abandoned due to its pattern of naked licensing (i.e., granting licenses without monitoring or controlling the quality of its licensees’ goods). The Court simultaneously denied defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment on its counterclaim of trademark infringement. Further proceedings were ordered regarding whether plaintiffs intended to pursue their other claims seeking to invalidate SSI’s patent.