Bravado, the holder of exclusive rights to the “BILLIE EILISH” mark in connection with tour merchandise, filed a lawsuit against unknown bootleggers in advance of Eilish’s March 19th concert at the TD Garden. Eilish has several pending trademark applications, but does not appear to have any issued registrations. Bravado claims common law trademark rights by way of Eilish’s having played concerts throughout the United States before hundreds of thousands of people. and brings a count for false designation of origin under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), rather than common law trademark infringement, thus obtaining federal subject matter jurisdiction. Bravado has appeared in this blog several times previously, filing similar suits in advance of shows by Lady Gaga, Arianna Grande, and Post Malone. As with all of these cases, this case is before Judge Zobel.
Judge Zobel has been assigned yet another case involving pre-emptive blocking of the sale of bootleg concert merchandise, this time involving an upcoming show by Post Malone. In addition to the POST MALONE trademark, the artist has registrations on POSTY CO, POSTY, POSTY FEST and SHABOINK. Malone is playing the TD Garden later this week, and Bravado (who is licensed to sell Malone merchandise) looks to prevent bootleggers from selling merchandise bearing the Malone marks.
Following the Federal Circuit’s affirmance of JMOL that the patent-in-suit was not infringed, Perrigo sought $90,637.02 in costs. Brigham and Women’s objected to virtually all of the requested costs and asserted that the case should be treated as a “mixed-result” case because Brigham “prevailed” on every issue save infringement (i.e., prevailed on standing, laches, invalidity, marking and damages). Judge Zobel rejected this argument, finding that Brigham had not prevailed on its sole claim of infringement and that, as a result, Perrigo was entitled to costs under F.R.C.P. 54(d). Judge Zobel did not award the full amount sought, however; she denied pro hac vice motion fees as not allowable in this district, denied costs associated with depositions that were not used in trial or in the post-trial briefing and denied all costs associated with videotaping or obtaining rough transcripts, finding these costs were not taxable absent prior permission. She also denied costs associated with the use of realtime transcripts, finding these to also not be “necessary” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1920(2). Judge Zobel refused to award $35,298 in costs associated with the use of a graphic designer to prepare charts, figures and demonstratives used at trial, based on both the excess amount of time spent in their preparation and a lack of evidence supporting these costs. Finally, Brigham’s had, in its motion seeking refusal of the Bill of Costs, sought expert witness fees under F.R.C.P. 26(b)(4)(E), which generally requires a party seeking expert discovery to pay the expert for the time spent in responding. Judge Zobel noted that expert discovery had concluded three years earlier with neither party seeking fees, and denied the request as untimely. In total, she awarded $22,843.48 to Perrigo.
Minden Pictures accuses Lynn company Kate-Den, which does business as “Dennis the Mennis Pest Control,” of willful copyright infringement and violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Minden asserts itself to be the premier provider of rights-managed wildlife and nature stock photographs, including photos taken by Michael Durham. Minden says that Kate-Den uses Durham photographs on its website, removed the copyright management information associated with the photographs, and have failed to respond to cease and desist letters from Minden. The case is before Judge Zobel.
Ecobee sued Amazon sellers eKings, Arad Systems, Western Ridge, as well as unknown individuals who run these sellers, asserting that they infringe ecobee’s trademark and interfere with ecobee’s contracts with its authorized resellers by reselling ecobee products without authorization. The allegations in the complaint track those of previous suits brought by ecobee in this district. Judge Zobel has been assigned to this case.
Bravado is a merchandising company that has exclusive rights to sell products bearing the federally registered ARIANNA GRANDE mark, a logo for which registration is pending, and/or Grande’s name and likeness. Bravado brought this suit in advance of Grande’s upcoming performance at the TD Garden in Boston to prevent bootleggers from offering infringing merchandise in or around the arena, and to obtain an order for authorities to seize and impound any such merchandise. As with other such pre-emptive suits, Judge Zobel is assigned to this matter.
Audio company Kicker sued Techtronics, theXmarketing.com, and Amazon resellers Techtronics Inc. and Amazing Dealzzz, accusing the defendants of improperly selling Kicker products, using Kicker trademarks, and altering or removing serial numbers from Kicker products that they were selling. Kicker uses the registered KICKER mark on audio components, primarily speakers, that it sells through authorized resellers. It asserts that the defendants, who are not authorized resellers, are nonetheless selling Kicker speakers bearing the KICKER trademark. The defendants did not receive Kicker training in proper installation of its speakers, and speakers sold through defendants do not come with Kicker’s warranty. Thus, according to the complaint, the defendants’ KICKER goods are materially different than those of Kicker and its authorized resellers. Kicker brings claims of trademark infringement, tortious interference with business relations in connection with defendants receiving inventories of Kicker speakers from authorized Kicker dealers, and unfair competition. It is not clear why Kicker chose to file suit in Massachusetts, given that it is an Oklahoma corporation and it asserts that defendants are located in California. The case is before Judge Zobel.